Remote locker system improves library access in rural Utah town

HENEFER, Utah — Never heard of Henefer?

If you aren’t from Summit County, it’s probably not too surprising.

The town has a population of less than 1,000 and in the past, residents had to rely on the bookmobile stopping by every other week for an hour and a half, or they had to make the trip to the neighboring town of Coalville, ten miles away, to check out books.

Now, residents will no longer have to worry about missing the bookmobile or making the drive to Coalville. Instead, they can use a specially designed remote locker system.

The Summit County Library recently received a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, which allowed them to fund the remote locker system. It’s the first of its kind in the state, and Summit County hopes it will serve as a template for creating greater library access in rural communities.

Residents can go online or phone the Summit County Library to request library materials. They select Henefer as their pickup location, and then library workers deliver the materials to the Henefer locker. Residents can pick up their materials whenever they like.

“Any resident who has a library card can take advantage of the book locker,” said Summit County Library Director Dan Compton. “The entire Summit County Library collection is now just a phone call or a few mouse clicks away.”

Summit County Library representatives held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. Check out the videos below to see how the book locker works.