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 workflow 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.

We help libraries make good software choices for their ILS, content management system, and resource-sharing systems by helping define requirements and guide libraries through the procurement process. We also have begun providing development and support for Drupal for libraries that need that support.

The Skinny on RFID and Automated Materials Handling in Libraries

Patron Experience Workshop (Dayton Metro)
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
first page of powerpoint slides

This presentation was part of a three-day workshop that I delivered to Dayton Metro Library with my colleagues, Cheryl Gould and Sam McBane Mulford.  Dayton is remodeling and building new libraries as well as consolidating some of the smaller branches.  They have been looking at automated materials handling and RFID as possible technologies to incorporate into their new buildings.  

Rather than focusing on the requirements of the technology and letting that drive the project, we wanted to help them focus on their core library values and envision how they might change the patron experience for the better.

It was an intense three days of very hard work for the group but it went very well. They not only learned more about RFID and automated materials handling (and other self-service technologies) but they also came up with core service elements that they want to see as part of their new service model. They made informed decisions about the technologies they would like to see implemented and they even made a tentative staffing plan.  That's a LOT to accomplish in three days!

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Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean your Workflow

Infopeople Webinar
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Title Slide

Infopeople webinar to introduce attendees to some key principles of Lean and to provide some tips on how to apply Lean principles to library materials handling workflows.

Focused on some traditional library practices that get in the way including how libraries use bookcarts to define batch size, reliance on staging areas, acquisitions practices, and rigid staff roles.

Hopefully people came away with a new way to think about workflows from the customer perspective and not just from a staff productivity perspective.

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RFID: What is Your Strategy?

To successfully roll out RFID, it is critical to establish a clear set of priorities for doing so and to continually make choices based on those priorities. Decisions must be made about how the system will be configured to suit the workflow you want to use. Remodeling may be required to locate equipment where it will be most effective. Signage and patron assistance will be required. Oftentimes, circulation policies need to be modified or materials security strategies need to change.

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Webinar: Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean Your Workflow

I'll be doing another webinar for Infopeople soon. This one is Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean Your Workflow. I hope you'll attend! More info below...

 

Date Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Start Time:          12 Noon Pacific

1PM Mountain

2PM Central

3PM Eastern 

  • Is your backroom overrun with book carts full of in-process material?
  • Does it take more than a couple hours to get your incoming delivery processed?
  • Does it take three days to catch up after a holiday closure?
  • Does it take more than four people to get a new acquisition into circulation?
  • Can you easily determine the age and status of items on every book cart?

 

As much as we love our book carts, they have helped us develop some very bad habits, and Lean will help us reduce or eliminate some of these bad habits. Lean is a management philosophy designed to identify and eliminate “waste” in a workflow. Waste can be any number of things including waiting, unnecessary handling or transport, duplicating steps, processing that doesn’t provide any benefit to the customer, and unnecessary hand-offs. By eliminating these wastes, we can find an optimal workflow that will get items to our customers faster and reduce our costs.

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RFID, GPS, and 3G - Radio Wave Technologies and Privacy

Collaborative Librarianship, Volume 5, Number 3
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Collaborative Librarianship logo

Another issue of Collaborative Librarianship is out and my Technology Matters column is about radio wave technologies and where the biggest privacy concerns really are. Some people refer to RFID chips as "tiny trackers" and that certainly makes them sound creepy. But it could be that the creepiest "tracker" out there is our beloved smartphone!

Here's an excerpt:

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