World-first library app makes borrowing a breeze

Thursday 12 December 2019

Image of a mobile phone displaying the Yarra Libraries app

Yarra Libraries is introducing its world-first borrowing app that lets members scan their item and walk straight out – no queues, no checkouts, and no security alarm.

Borrowing is now as easy as taking a photo with a smartphone or tablet, with the Yarra Libraries Apple iOS and Android app.

photo demonstrating how to scan a barcode and borrow using the library app screenshot of library app showing a successful checkout screenshot of library app bookshelf

The app lets users self-checkout library items from one of Yarra Libraries’ five locations, as well as see everything they’ve borrowed at a glance, and book events and rooms.

Unlike other library apps that still require members to scan their item again on a separate device, the Yarra Libraries app disables the security alarm as soon as the item is checked out.

The Yarra Libraries app also includes a world-first integrated bookshelf that lets members see everything they’ve borrowed at a glance, whether physical or digital, without being redirected to external platforms. This includes books and ebooks, magazines and audio.

The new app is just another way Yarra Libraries is evolving to help people discover learn, connect and collaborate through technology.

example of what library events look like on the new library app screenshot of study room bookings

Members can also manage their account from the app; checking due dates, renewing their loans or cancelling reservations.

City of Yarra Mayor, Cr Misha Coleman, said the app is perfect for busy, tech-savvy residents.

"For busy residents, this app is a game-changer. I love how easy it is for someone to drop in, pick up a good book and check it out from their phone. It’s so easy and really streamlines the borrowing experience."

"Digital technologies, smartphones and apps are an everyday part of life. We have many library users keen to improve their skills and discover new technologies, who will appreciate how easy this app is to use," she said.

The app’s new events management feature allows members to browse and register for our many events using only their library card. Members can be added to a waitlist for sold-out events, and automatically be added when space is free.

The app also allows members to reserve the highly sought-after study spaces at Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library, letting members see room availability in real-time.

Yarra Libraries partnered with library technology provider Communico to deliver the Yarra Libraries app.

Future improvements have already scheduled but we'd love to hear your feedback! Email us at

Download the app now:

Apple App Store

Google Play Store


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