The La Vista Public Library added this self checkout machine in August.

A trip to the library just became a little easier with the addition of a self checkout machine at the La Vista Public Library.

La Vista Public Library Director Rose Barcal said the self checkout machine was added in late August and something the library had been looking to install for a long time.

“A lot of people think it’s to replace a person but it’s not,” said Jean Hurst, computer and reference librarian.

“There are a lot of reasons you would want to put in a self checkout machine. One of them is it helps with the lines, especially during the summer,” Hurst said.

Hurst admitted there are sometimes no lines in the library, but even then, the self checkout machine could be beneficial.

“People could use it if they really don’t want you to see what they are checking out,” Hurst said, “Maybe somebody is checking out books on suicide and they might feel more comfortable using a self checkout machine.”

Barcal said the process to use the self checkout machine is simple.

If someone wants to use the machine, they swipe their library card and then scan the material they are checking out. A receipt will print out for the customer.

Although they are not the first library to have a self checkout machine, Hurst said La Vista Public Library is one of the first to have an ADA compliant machine.

“It has buttons that will raise and lower it to the height of someone that is using it,” Hurst said, “Someone really tall could pull it up or someone might be in a wheel chair and just by pushing a simple button lower it to them.”

The machine is called HAL, named after the computerized villain from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The letters in the name stand for “helping all librarians.” HAL will be available for use the same hours the library is open.

La Vista Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

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