Lori Ayre's blog

Expect More World Tour

As I've mentioned before, I'm always looking for ways to make a bigger impact in libraries. Moving more libraries into a state-of-the-art materials handling systems is one thing but getting them to redeploy staff to more productive activities is another.  You can't just move someone who's been working at a circ desk all their career to a position where they are working hand-in-hand with community organizations or expect them to develop non-library services or develop non-traditional ways of delivering traditional services.

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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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