Case study

Amazon lockers in libraries

Amazon lockers in libraries provide a new income stream and help customer access, as residents can pick up orders from a location near their work or home.

Amazon lockers
Amazon lockers. Photo credit: Jeff Samsonow / flickr CC

Description of the work

There is a formal annual contract with Amazon, either party can give one month’s notice and Amazon will correct any structural damage. Contact with Amazon is usually once a year to renew the contact.

West Sussex had the lockers installed at three of their largest libraries; Chichester, Horsham and Crawley in December 2012. They have a large bank of lockers at each location but there is also the option to have smaller sizes. West Sussex considered where to best place the lockers before the Amazon team assessment. The lockers must be visible, secure, in well lit places and in venues with good opening hours. Increasingly, they are looking for locations that are open beyond normal working hours.

Installation was straightforward and only involved putting in a BT line which Amazon organised and paid for. Once the lockers are in, no library staff involvement is required. West Sussex have experienced no operational problems.

The use of these lockers should be considered as just one aspect of an income stream.

Outcomes achieved

The lockers:

  • provide a regular income for these libraries
  • are a popular service for customers
  • have no impact on staff time
  • are used by between 80 and 100 people in each location a week
  • bring people into the library
  • are used by non and existing library users; it is very difficult to assess if there is much crossover

Accomplishments / lessons learnt

The lockers could be expanded to other sites but this would be dependent on footfall

It took some time to agree the terms between Amazon and West Sussex County Council’s legal team. Having achieved this, Amazon will hopefully use this experience to build into future draft agreements.

Image credit: Jeff Samsonow on flickr

Published 5 January 2016