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Hyattsville Library Has Self-Checkout For A/V Collection

The entrance to the old A/V room was closed and a sign said that the DVDs, CDs and videos had been relocated to the periodicals room just down the hall.

If you haven't recently been by the you'll probably be just as surprised as I was when you walk through the lower level doors.

I was going to scout some new James Patterson novels but thought I'd stop in the audio/visual room to see if they had any new movies out. But the entrance to the old A/V room was closed, and a sign said that the DVDs, CDs and videos had been relocated to the periodicals room just down the hall.

It's kind of a jarring change because the periodicals room also has microfilm machines, computers and stacks of magazines, newsletters and newspapers. There really isn't a separate section for the A/V collection. Instead, where there used to be books, there are now DVDs, CDs and other electronic media.

Once I sorted out where everything was – the DVDs are in alphabetical order – I picked up "Analyze This/Analyze That" and looked around for the TV series section. I wanted HBO’s "ROME," but all I could find were British TV series collections.

A nice woman asked me if I needed help and then told me that the TV series are now kept behind a locked door because they are the most frequently stolen items at the library. It didn’t take her long to find what I wanted, and I was ready to check out.

This was confusing.

There’s a new electronic check-out set up by the periodicals’ room door, but there’s no real direction or signage telling you how to go about using it. A woman with a large cart of DVDs was swiping them into a computer at the checkout stand, and I had to wait several minutes before she finally moved over and let me use the machine. I guess I lucked out though, because she walked me through the process of scanning my library card, then the DVDs and finding out which small “door” my DVD would pop out of.

There are instructions on the touch screen computer, but they aren’t super clear.

If you’re going to check out A/V items, you will want to be sure that you come prepared to learn a new skill.

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