ST. CLOUD - When you return an item to the St. Cloud Library you probably don’t think too much about how it makes it back on to the shelves, but a large amount of technology and work goes on behind the scenes to ensure the library is running at its best.

Items being returned to the library are taken to a back room through a conveyor belt. A large machine named “Wally” is in charge of scanning each item and then dropping it into a container based on its category. Items are then taken by staff to be placed back on the shelves.

The Library prides itself with using technology and their website to better serve the public. Users can go directly to their website and browse their entire collection. Jami Trenam, the Associate Director at the St. Cloud Library says you can also request certain items to be purchased by the library on the website.

"If anyone is looking for a particular book, CD or DVD, you can fill out the form on the website and we purchase a majority of those requests that come through," Trenam says.

Another big role for the St. Cloud library is sending requested items to the other 30 Great River Library locations in the area. New and requested items are put into bags and taken to locations all around Central Minnesota. Trenam says items are moved and supplied to each location to ensure they have fresh and relevant items available.

"Part of the library is making sure we have the most up-to-date and relevant materials," Trenam says.

Damaged items are also repaired before being put back on the shelves. Books are mended and CD’s and DVDs are put into a special cleaning machine to remove dirt and scratches.

In 2013, the library checked out more than 970,000 videos. During the last 2.5 years the library has repaired over 1,000 CDs and 34,000 DVDs.


Books being sorted by "Wally" (Dan DeBaun, WJON News)