The Santa Barbara Public Library System is seeking summer volunteers to improve their checkout system and upgrade current collections.

The Santa Barbara Public Central Library as well as the Goleta and Eastside branches need dozens of “book mappers” to assist in a two to three month-long project to improve the inventory of the library collection. The project involves adding radio frequency identifier tags to the libraries’ books, CDs, audio books and videos in addition to reducing the level of necessary staff assistance and facilitating future technological expansions.

Santa Barbara Central Library Director Irene Macias, said the summer projects will make borrowing books both faster and easier.

“The library is going to be introducing a new self-checkout system and also upgrade the self-checkout system it already has,” Macias said. “The new system will be able to handle more transactions and make renewing loans, paying fines, getting printouts for loans and managing library accounts easier.”

Additionally, Santa Barbara Central Library Services Manager Richard Hiles said volunteers will work to improve the book tracking system.

“The project will mostly be for adding radio frequency identifier chips to books we have in the libraries,” Hiles said. “We will be tagging about 350,000 books with this new technology. It will make the self checkout experience easier and more reliable.”

“You basically just need to have the ability to stand and pick books off the shelves and move them around,” Hiles said. “It doesn’t require any special training, and there’ll be about five orientation sessions for the volunteers before the project begins.”

Macias said past volunteers have also assisted library staff with other tasks including repairing media, working on publicity and marketing and leading summer reading programs.

Introductory sessions for the book mapping project will be held throughout the first two weeks of June. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, call (805) 564-5619 or visit the Santa Barbara Public Library’s website at