The management of the Blue County Public Library wants to transform the development and automation systems into a digital age.
During a board meeting on Tuesday night, members saved money and time and approved $ 151,267 at the BCPL Foundation for the latest self-testing and self-negotiation technologies that can alleviate employee stress.
Both systems are equipped with powerful electromagnetic sensors to monitor the coupling using radio frequency identification or RFID – in this case books, DVDs, magazines, etc.
Interim Library Director Anjana Bruelland expressed his leadership interest in negotiating with FA Technologies in Australia and presented the first step to the Board. The company will install the system in the coming months and train staff.
However, the proposal was not immediately accepted.
Board members were reluctant to accept the FE bid without comparing the prices of other companies. Bruelland BCPL is probably the best offer, and that’s true, but at the request of the board, it has evaluated three other companies that are approximately above the F bid.
The vote was postponed until Tuesday, and all board members agreed to ask for money from the foundation.
If the request is approved at a groundbreaking meeting in early November, the system could take effect in early 2022.
According to an email from the Tennessee State Department, if BCPL successfully implements the RFID system, it will join 10 other regional libraries that have used the technology in the past, including the Saver County system.
Metropolitan libraries throughout the state, including the Knox County Central Library, use RFID technology.
Before doing this system change, she did her homework. One of the libraries she called was the Virginia Beach Public Library system. Support Services Administrator Clara Hudson has been monitoring RFID in Virginia Beach for ten years.
In the first few years after the implementation, Hudson said, “it was very difficult for staff to leave that public service interaction.” It has always been a successful and useful system, but changing face-to-face interactions is a cultural change.
He added: “We have begun to reduce the reference table to an additional service desk model.” We have done a lot to help clients serve themselves both online and offline.
Hudson affirmed what the new library leadership expected – freeing staff to do more than setting up checkpoints.
Bruelland said the staff had “tested” how long it would take to inspect the returned items. According to Brutland, the difference between the current, manual and new automatic sorting systems was striking.
It took the staff 45 minutes to restore 100 items to the initial circulatory failure. With RFID sorting, you can process up to 1,500 items at a time.
“This automation will release approximately 67 hours per week,” Brumlandland told the board.
According to Bruelland, these are the 67 hours that need to be reduced from about 50 in January to about 40. Although that reduction is part of a deliberate improvement of the library, there are still areas of concern.
The library should remain open for a total of 69.5 hours per week under state and local agreements, and technology improvements will help reduce staff stress. It is currently open for 57 hours and is pushing for about 70 hours to return to pre-epidemic activity.
“The processes and structures we have put in place to deliver library services … work, but our staff is tired,” said Bruel.
They are scared about 50 times a day because we are still in a pandemic and are still interacting with customers face to face.
At the end of the host, some hope for RFID implementation for other reasons.
Four-year-old school mother: 6-14-year-old Casey Smith says she uses and loves self-testing systems in Florida, where her family lives.
Home school families often rely on library resources more than public school families who have a school library. That Smith and other members of the Blant Home School Association make frequent flyers in the library.
In a telephone interview, Smith said: “Self-examination means I don’t have to wait in line, my kids don’t have to wait in line and we get out quickly.”
Children also get a little bit of autonomy in the check process, Smith said. They use the test kiosks, which are typically part of the RFID application, to scan the books themselves. “They like to look at their books,” says Smith. “It gives them a better idea of what the test will look like.
I think, what is happening now with COVID, there is a lot of face-to-face interaction, which is what most of us want right now. … I encourage people to give it a try. be patient.”
After Tuesday’s vote, Bruelland expressed his interest in the future of RFID.
“What this means for the public is that they will have more time outside of the staff and there will be a faster return time for items to return to the shelves,” he said.
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