Putney Library’s fancy new self service machines (will destory us all)

The world is becoming a lot more self-sufficient. You can pay for your shopping without any human interaction at those infuriating self-service machines in Tesco or Sainsbury’s and pay for items at shops merely by waving your card around in the air until the PayWave system picks it up (the nice chaps in Select and Save have one of these) thereby removing the need for any interaction as cards are never handed over or instructions issued.

The latest place to follow this route is Putney Library. It’s a nice library, it does what you’d expect – dispensers books for free for a certain time period before which they must be returned. Now, though, when you go in and take a book out, or return it having read and enjoyed its sumptuous lexicography inside, a machine, not a man or woman, will assist you in this task.

It is quite clever. You place the book on the machine, it scans the page and knows what it is, telling you to press a button for return or hire, and dispensers a receipt should you so wish to record such a record of your life. At no point does it say “unexpected item in the bagging area” either, which is a definite plus.

So, if you’ve yet to get to the library, through fear of having to talk to someone and thereby risk being “Shhhhhh”-ed by the ever vigilant staff, fear no more = Machines Will Lead the Way to Our Salvation. Or Destruction, time will tell.

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