May 16, 2022

Report: “Jefferson County, Colo., Opens First ‘Ghost Library'”

From Government Technology:

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Rachel Massman scanned her library card in the reader, punched in a four-digit code and opened the door of the Express Library West Arvada — entering into a first-of-its-kind standalone “ghost library,” where there is no staff on hand and cameras watch your every move.

“I think it’s exciting,” said the Arvada resident one morning this week. “I work at home and I got tired of looking at my own four walls. I’m very excited to try something new.”

Jefferson County Public Library is touting its new express library as a novel and convenient approach to providing library services to a society that is increasingly accustomed to automation and self-service.


[Library spokeswoman Kim] McGrigg said the cost to equip and stand up the express library was approximately $141,000, including a 5-year lease on the space. The software behind the self-access door code system, provided by library tech firm Bibliotecha, costs $9,000 per year.

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.