GODWIN – Residents of the northern part of Cumberland County now have a convenient way to get books and other items from the library.
The Cumberland County Public Library and the Town of Godwin have installed functioning automated book lockers at the Town Hall on Markham Street. The lockers are similar to those used to retrieve online orders from retailers.
If the project goes well, residents in other areas of the county could have access to similar facilities, according to Nora Armstrong, library division manager for community engagement.
“I’m optimistic about it,” she said. “I think it’s going to be very popular.”
Residents who reserve books, DVDs, audiobooks and portable hotspots can pick them up and return them to lockers, which will be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when City Hall is open .
Library staff members plan to visit City Hall once a week to fill lockers and pick up returned items, according to a statement released by county officials. Staff members will also be available to answer residents’ questions about personal wearable technology such as tablets and smartphones, he said.
City and county officials celebrated the availability of lockers in a ceremony on Tuesday. Speakers included Godwin Mayor Willie Burnette and Glenn Adams, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.
Library director Faith Phillips, who also spoke at the ceremony, said in the statement that library officials were delighted to launch the initiative at Godwin.
“Serving our entire community, expanding access to library resources, and promoting digital equity is important to our library, and I am grateful for this opportunity with the Town of Godwin,” said she declared.
The lockers were purchased with grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act, according to the release. The grant is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
Armstrong said residents can put a library item on hold through the website or by calling. Once staff members bring the item to the lockers, residents receive an email and can then access the item in a locker by scanning the barcode on their library card or entering a number they get from the library on a touch screen.
There are about 40 lockers of three sizes, including some large enough to hold children’s picture books, Armstrong said.
Anyone who wants more information about the lockers can call the library at 910-483-7727.
Local News Editor Steve DeVane can be reached at [email protected]