Oviatt Library installs high-tech lockers to provide students with safe, faster access to library materials


The Oviatt Library is installing a touchless locker hub that will be ready in November. Students can unlock the locker and collect their reserved library materials by using a self-checkout app.

Trissean McDonald, Reporter

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the daily lives of the CSUN community, the Oviatt Library is creating new ways for students, faculty and staff to have books and other materials delivered by locker pickup and mail.

The Oviatt Library is still closed to the public, but has since adjusted its services to adapt to students’ needs while adhering to social distancing guidelines and limiting person-to-person contact.

In August, the library began to ship books by mail and recently began planning the installation of a touchless locker system.

“Yes, the rumors are true,” said Kathy Dabbour, associate dean of the Oviatt Library. “We are getting lockers installed outside the library entrance that we anticipate will be ready in November.”

The touchless locker hub will consist of three towers and 63 compartments with a large package capacity. Once installed, students will have access to the lockers outside the library’s eastside entrance.

The locker system will function through a smartphone-connected app with contactless options to avoid physical touch with the lockers, according to Dabbour. More information about the self-checkout app will be available once the lockers get installed.

Dabbour also said other CSU campus libraries are planning to install lockers as well.

The administration will spend $26,000 on the new locker system and installation, according to Mary Beth Walker, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. The allocation will come from the federal funding CSUN received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March.

Students who cannot visit campus to utilize the touchless locker system may also receive books by mail. The current delivery time is between one to three weeks, whereas materials outside of CSUN’s library could take up to four weeks for delivery.

Dabbour anticipates that once the lockers get installed, the mailing services will gradually decline because students will have quicker access to library materials.

The library also offers books and other materials through OneSearch, a search engine that compiles all of the Oviatt Library’s collections of electronic and print resources.

For more information on library services or to chat with a librarian, visit the library’s website.