Lori Ayre's blog

RFID and AMH in Libraries: State of the Art

Since the late 1980’s, libraries have been slowly adopting RFID (radio frequency identification) technology as a supplement to barcodes for library material identification and also as a way to replace legacy EM (electro-magnetic) security technologies (e.g. security strips).   RFID provides a single system for efficiently checking in, checking out, and securing library material and because it is based on radiowave technology, it does not require line-of-sight.  Unlike barcodes, which must be scanned one a time, multiple RFID-tagged items can be set on an RFID pad and checked in or checked out.

RFID helps staff work faster and more ergonomically than one-at-a-time barcode systems.  RFID  is also easier for patrons to use at the self-check-out machines.  Not only can staff and patrons check-out multiple items at a time, patrons are also less likely to be confused by the self-check-out process (e.g. distinguishing between barcodes and ISBN tags).

Although there are several benefits to using RFID, adoption has been slow because of the cost of implementing RFID systems and also because the technology was lacking key standards that made investing in RFID somewhat risky – until fairly recently. 

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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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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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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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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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