How can we help you...

Self Service and Aberdeen City Libraries

Adult Lending Reception and Self Issue

 Aberdeen City Libraries have introduced Self Service machines in some of the libraries in the city. There are 2 units operational in the Adult Lending Library, a unit in the Childrens Library and units available for use in Airyhall, Bucksburn, Dyce, Bridge of Don, Cove, Kincorth, Mastrick and Tillydrone Community Libraries. These Self Service units are being installed to ease pressure on staff at busy times and to give them more time to assist borrowers with their reading choices, work on service promotion and other service developments.

The units will allow borrowers to skip the queues when issuing and returning items, processing renewals as required and checking their account for outstanding loans and/or charges. Some machines will also accept payments of charges. At the moment payments can only be paid in cash and, depending on the site and the unit in use there, change will also be given.


  • How can I tell if I have borrowed a book before?
    Unfortunately, this isn't possible on the self service machines. It is possible to get more information on items you have had on loan in the past using our online catalogue. Please ask a member of staff and they will show you how to do this.
  • Is it possible to have the author as well as the title in the list of loans?
    This isn't currently possible, but we will pass it back to our supplier as a suggestion for future development. It is possible to get more information on items you have on loan using our online catalogue. Please ask a member of staff and they will show you how to do this.
  • Can we have written instructions?
    The machines are easy to use and there is always a member of staff on hand to help. Please do not be afraid to ask.
  • Why do we have to use these machines? I enjoyed the contact with staff when taking out my books. If I use the machines, does that mean staff will lose their jobs?
    We have introduced the self service machines as part of the libraries' commitment to new ways of working. Using the machines frees up staff so that, instead of being behind the desk all the time, they are able to spend time out in the library talking to you, and helping you with enquiries or in choosing books. There are no plans to reduce library staffing as part of this and there will always be staff on hand in the library to help you.
  • I always lose my receipt. How do I know when my books are due back?
    Please try and keep your receipt. If you are concerned you will lose it, try using it as a bookmark. You can check your account any time, either on a self service machine or online, to see when your books are due back.
  • How do I know if I owe any money or have books that are due back?
    When you have finished borrowing your books, you will be taken to your account, where you can clearly see if there is anything outstanding on your card. When you finish returning your books, you will be asked to scan your card, to get the same information.
  • Why won't it let me borrow (or return) this book?
    There could be a number of reasons, such as the barcode being old and worn. If the machine says your book can't be issued (or returned), please ask a member of staff for help.
  • Why can't the receipts be optional?
    You need a receipt when you borrow or renew items so that you know the date they are due back.
  • Where am I supposed to put my bag/pile of books etc?
    We have moved the machines in the Central Adult Lending Library back on the desks a little, to give you more space. Other libraries may have a small table near the self service machine for your use.
  • In the Central Adult Lending Library, are the books in the returns slot getting damaged?
    No. We have put extra foam in the bottom of the bins to raise the height and protect the books. The bins are emptied regularly to ensure books don't get crushed. At other libraries, if there is a reason why the book cannot go straight back on to the shelves, you will be asked to give it to a member of staff.
  • Why does money fall through the machine?
    If this happens, please ask a member of staff for help, as there could be a fault with the machine.

Contact details:

Return to  home page.