The Galecia Group, headed up by Lori Bowen Ayre, has established an excellent reputation for providing high quality consulting in technologies that are becoming necessities for the 21st century library: self-service technologies, automated materials handling, RFID, and open source software.

We partner with libraries to evaluate materials handling workflows from acquisitions to interlibrary delivery. We take libraries through a longer term Lean process improvement project or just recommend simple workflow and work space modifications. We seek to combine the best combination of self-service technologies, materials handling solutions and/or RFID to address the library's primary pain points and budget. We document long-term savings and benefits (for staff and patrons alike) from these smart investments. And, equally important, we provide support for the technology integration process (aka change management) to ensure the investment in technology is fully realized.

We help libraries make good software choices for their ILS, content management system, and resource-sharing systems by helping define the requirements that really matter and guide libraries through a highly collaborative procurement process. And recently, we've begun offering Drupal development and support services.

Need Some Inspiration? Read this report! Rising to the Challenge: Re-envisioning public libraries

I just read (much too quickly) the Aspen Institute's report "Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries" and wow, is it fantastic!

cover or reportThe paper states that this is a time of "great opportunity" for communities and institutions who are willing to "champion new thinking and nurture new relationships" and that it is a "time of particular opportunity for public libraries with their unique stature as trusted community hubs and repositories of knowledge and information."

The paper provides a vision for libraries that is based on an "emerging model of networked libraries that promote economies of scale and broadens the library's resource reach while preserving its local presence."  

In this vision, the key assets of the library are people, place and platform; and, the platform "provides opportunities for individuals and the community to gain access to a variety of tools and resources with which to discover and create new knowledge."

There are very practical suggestions which support the work I do including the importance of resource-sharing and collaborations across libraries.  The report strongly states that we must move away from the "go it alone" approach, which, and this is partly my interpretation, we are too locked into because of the the ILS (integrated library system) model.

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Finding Library Solutions in Adjacent Industries

Collaborative Librarianship, Volume 5, Number 4
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Collaborative Librarianship logo

As much as we like to think that libraries are unique, they actually operate much like a supply chain system with central distribution centers and retail outlets. Obviously, there are differences but when it comes to materials handling, an area in which I do a lot of consulting, the similarities are striking. Both industries distribute material to outlets, require complex logistics systems, require accurate sorting and picking, and employ self-service technologies. As such, I spend a lot of time learning about warehouse management, logistics, supply chain technologies and best practices, and I use that knowledge in my consulting. Supply chain and warehouse management systems occupy adjacent niches to library materials handling. Not exactly the same industry but with lots in common. 

But I’ve noticed that libraries generally rely much more on one another than on other industries for ideas. And sometimes, people in libraries get uncomfortable when you suggest solutions that come from non-library vendors. Strangely, I’ve even found some libraries reluctant to try approaches that haven’t been proven by libraries in their state – forget about outside of library land! 

However, some very intriguing ideas have come from libraries that have stepped outside of the library marketplace and created strategic partnerships with non-library suppliers. I’ll give you two examples: Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and Grand Rapid Public Library. 

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Web-based Staff Client for Everyone!

I'm pleased to announce that there is now a demo version of the new Evergreen web-based staff client.  Check it out here:

https://webby.evergreencatalog.com/eg/staff/

login: admin password: demo123

It's not done yet but  it already looks pretty darn good!  Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to this new development including:

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Leaning Your Library's Material Handling Workflows

American Library Association Annual Conference, Las Vegas
Monday, June 30, 2014
title slide

Presentation at ALA Conference in Las Vegas (2014). Sponsored by the Public Library Association. I really enjoyed doing this presentation because the crowd was very engaged. Got lots of good ideas from them. Thanks to all who attended!

The presentation introduces Lean and provides some ideas about how to look at library materials handling workflows with a Lean, customer-centric focus where the customer may be internal (co-worker) or external (patron).  Introduced concepts of Visual Management and 5S from Lean and identified where "waste" happens in libraries.

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Press Release: Lyrasis to Manage Open Source ILS Feature Comparison Tool

Atlanta, GA - May 13, 2014 - LYRASIS and The Galecia Group announce that LYRASIS will be managing and hosting the Open Source ILS Feature Comparison Tool under the LYRASIS FOSS4LIB project, beginning immediately. The move is part of the Open Source Decision Support Tools project, funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Open Source ILS Feature Comparison Tool, previously on galecia.com, is now available at http://ils.foss4lib.org/

The Open Source ILS Feature Comparison tool compares more than 1,000 features between the Koha and Evergreen open source integrated library systems, and was designed to help libraries navigate open source software options and determine the best fit for their needs. The tool was created in 2012 by The Galecia Group with help from dozens of content contributors from the Koha and Evergreen communities. The project was funded through the Empowering Libraries with Open Source project, part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant awarded to the King County Library System (WA). This move is part of a wider enhancement effort on the FOSS4LIB site, with integration of the ILS feature comparison site with the main FOSS4LIB site, including unified logins and links between the two sites coming soon. The ability to compare other types of software packages in addition to integrated library systems will also be added in the coming months. After completing a registration process, librarians can create custom reports of just the features they need for their libraries. Those who have already registered can still use their login. New users can register athttp://ils.foss4lib.org/user/register.

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