I've been writing the Technology Matters column for the online journal, Collaborative Librarianship, for the last few years. It is a good way to force me to organize my thoughts. I try to post the columns here but they don't always make it so if you want to read them all, I encourage you to visit the groovy new website.
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A few years ago, I participated in the PLA Technology Commitee. They were contemplating the future of the PLA Tech Notes. I suggested that we should discontinue the PLA Tech Notes and instead update the Wikipedia entries on those topics that were of interest to libraries. That way we'd contribute valuable content to Wikipedia on technology if there wasn't anything useful there yet. And if there was something there already, we could supplement the entry and describe the library application of that technology. Seemed to me to be a great idea and much better than spending a bunch of money having someone right up an article that would then be hidden deep in the bowels of ALA/PLA website where the info would be hard to find, never updated, and where it would quickly become inaccurate (without anyone who happened to bump into it knowing the difference).
I've been participating in an interesting thread about self-check-out and someone asked me to state some Best Practices. So, here's one rendition of what I believe to be Best Practices for implementing self-service check-out. It's an evolving list.
One of my clients requested that I put together some case studies that would demonstrate Best Practices for implementing RFID, self-check, and automated materials handling. I was able to put together two excellent examples of how to do it right.
This case study was written based on a document prepared by JCL staff after their RFID implementation. It was their own evaluation of the process so it includes a description of things they did right and what they could have done better. It provides great information on how to plan and manage the implementation and includes useful and impressive outcome metrics.
This case study was written based on telephone interviews with the staff. They describe another excellent process for implementing automated materials handling and then RFID and self-check. Even though I recommend implementing RFID before AMH, this process worked well for them and they are now achieving 90% self-check use systemwide.
Come join me for this webinar on April 27, 2016 from 2:00pm-3:00pm EST. Register Here
ALA President Sari Feldman's new Libraries Transform campaign communicates that libraries are more than places where circulation transactions take place, libraries can be transformative. And technologies like RFID, automated materials handling and self-service technologies are the tools that increase opportunities for libraries to provide enriching experiences to their communities.
Although RFID projects involve technical hurdles, they can be a fantastic opportunity to transform library services! If libraries only install the technology without changing how they use staff, they miss the chance to change the dynamics of patron-staff interaction.
[Lori Ayre] has been so valuable throughout this entire process and has put me at ease knowing we are in good hands.
We are currently working with Lori Ayre from Galecia Group as a consultant for our RFID/AMH project at Broward County Libraries Division in South Florida. She is incredibly knowledgeable and patient. She was able to walk us through many scenarios, cost benefit analysis, market place data and industry standards. Her report even gave us some"low hanging fruit" to address in preparation for the transition that we've been able to implement in our new service model. I've enjoyed working with Galecia Group and recommend their consulting services to libraries needing additional assistance.
The lastest issue of Collaborative Librarianship is out and so is my latest Technology Matters column. In this issue, I talk about the tenendency for libraries to make a big investment in materials handling and self-service technologies but then fail to make the changes to their staffing and service models that allow them to use their human resources in new and exciting ways.
Lori is not only very knowledgeable and up-to-date on RFID, library materials handling processes and industry changes, but she is able to present the information clearly and easily in a program with attendees who come from different library sizes and levels of expertise.
Lori Ayre can be trusted to not only complete the project you have contracted her to do, but she adds creative ideas that will help you plan ahead for future innovation.