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.

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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On Creating a Public Library Consortium

Black Hills Area Librarians Conference
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
slide one

Presentation at the Black Hills Area Librarians Conference addressing the types of services being provided by consortia around the country.  This group was considering forming their own consortium but wanted to have a better sense of the pros and cons.

Slides 

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RFID and AMH Opportunities to Improve Patron Experience at Dayton Metro Library

Dates: 
December, 2013 - current

Dayton Metro Library has embarked on a series of initiatives that will transition the library from a 22-outlet system with book-centered spaces to a 17-outlet system designed to better serve the diverse needs of the Montgomery County community.

The Library contracted with The Galecia Group for help evaluating the potential benefits of using new technologies to create optimized workflows for staff and improve the customer experience.

The contract included assessing the benefits, costs, and return on investment of RFID and materials handling technologies.  In addition, the project included a process in which staff would learn more about the technology and participate in a series of activities that would help them envision how RFID, sorters, self check-in, and self check-out, could be employed to free up staff time and library spaces allowing staff to focus on the evolving needs of their patrons and better serve their communities.  

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Does Your ILS Do This? "Smart Float" in Evergreen

Grand Rapids Public Library is breaking new ground again!  They've implemented Smart Float in their Evergreen system.  They've written the code and its working. Now they are working to get that code into the next release of Evergreen.  

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How to Sabotage Your Automated Materials Handling Implementation

If you are designing a new building, you shouldn’t be considering automated materials handling (AMH).  You should be planning for it. 

\When we talk about AMH, we are usually referring to two components:  a self-check-in machine and a sorter. With prices well under $30,000 to get a 3-bin AMH unit, nearly every library can afford one – budget-wise and space-wise.  They cost less than one FTE and can take up as little as 8’x10’ in floor space meaning it costs less than the FTE it saves.  And your AMH unit will never have any ergonomic injuries no matter how many returns it checks in every hour. 

A 3-bin AMH is the smallest size that makes sense.  It allows you to get items checked in immediately-which patrons really appreciate.  And, it separates the material that needs staff attention from material that can go right back up on the shelves-which staff really appreciate.  I usually recommend that the third bin be used for sorting out the returns that need to “go home” so they can easily be moved to delivery bins.

The most common size sorters fall in the 5-bin to 9-bin range.  It turns out that there is a point of diminishing returns (no pun intended) when it comes to sorter sizes and these 5-9 bin sorters hit some kind of sweet spot.  They are available for under $200,000 and can do the work of 2-3 FTE.  They eliminate numerous steps from the materials handling workflow, and improve services to customers (instant check-in, better turnaround of library material).  Every new library being built should assume they’ll have one -- and libraries that don’t have one now, should be looking into buying one.

And, in fact, many libraries are getting AMH systems for their libraries. Vendors report installing 3-4 systems per month.  But, something is going wrong with many of these installations and I don’t think it is the AMH equipment that is at fault.  It has everything to do with whether or not you and your staff are on the same page with the reason you’ve introduced an AMH system into the mix, and whether you've effectively planned for the changes that are required to leverage the new technology.  So, what’s going wrong?

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