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Dec 5, 2019
It's been awhile since something shook up the library RFID marketplace but this is something to watch. Smartrac,Technologies, based in the Netherlands, is one of the primary suppliers of library RFID tags (HF tags). One Equity Partners is the equity firm that owns Smartrac. One Equity Partners is the same firm that owns Bibliotheca. So, that means that One Equity Partners is getting out of the RFID business. My question is whether that means One Equity Partner will soon want to get out of the library business as well? I say this because Bibliotheca was originally very much focused on providing RFID solutions to libraries. Of course, with the acquisition of 3M, they have shifted their focus from RFID (to some extent) to the Cloud Library and more recently they've been pushing their Open Library product pretty hard - neither of these two products are RFID-based. So maybe I'm worrying for nothing. But I'll be keeping an eye on One Equity Partners just in case.
The other worrying thing for me is that HF RFID technology isn't exploding the way UHF technology is. HF technology is used in payment cards, ticketing systems, and libraries. NFC (used on your smartphone) is a form of HF RFID. But it is UHF that is growing by leaps and bounds. UHF RFID is used with IoT products (Internet of Things) including clothing and shoes (https://www.nanalyze.com/2019/02/smart-shoes-digitally-connected/). And, of course, UHF is the RFID tag used in the supply chain. Whatever cool new "smart" thing you hear about, chances are it is based on UHF technologies.
Jul 15, 2019
Jun 10, 2019
Followers of our blog know that we're big fans of the Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS) library survey data releases -- these are the most comprehensive sources of data about public libraries in the United States. So we were very excited this week to see that the FY2017 survey results have been released on the IMLS.gov website!
Not sure how to get started analyzing PLS data? Check out this video where we introduce the data included in the survey and associated documentation.
Jun 5, 2019
Two Galecia clients (possibly more!) are now offering mobile hotspots that patrons can borrow. These hotspots come with an unlimited plan so you can take them anywhere and get connected to the Internet. Both libraries report the new service is wildly popular!
Sonoma County Library (https://sonomalibrary.org/) has 500 units available. Their program, SonomaFi, is a pilot program so far. Funded from Measure Y sales tax funds. The service provider is Verizon. Each hotspot is available for 14 days and if the borrower neglects to return it, the service is deactivated (which evidently helps get the units returned promptly!)
Sonoma County has also created an excellent video showing patrons how to use their HotSpots - check out the nice cases that are included! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AawPH22CibE&feature=youtu.be
Charleston County (https://www.ccpl.org) is offering the same program but with service from Sprint. So far no groovy videos. Their program is courtesy of a grant from the South Carolina State Library.
Apr 9, 2019
When a disaster strikes, information can be just as valuable as water, power, or critical supplies! Learn more about how your library can provide information and access following a disaster.
Providing Public Internet Access At The Library
One of the most critical requirements after a disaster is the restoration of communications with the outside world, and these days, that means the Internet. While first responders, whether at the local, state, or federal level, may have their own data and communications infrastructure, libraries can still provide access for responders, volunteers, and survivors. Internet access is critical after a disaster for:
- filing government disaster benefits claims
- filing insurance claims and other paperwork
- communicating with friends/family outside the disaster zone
- coordinating volunteers and support from outside the disaster zone
Because Internet access is so important during a disaster, it may be necessary to expand opportunities for leveraging the library’s connectivity.
Apr 1, 2019
"Peer analysis" is a tool used in finance, management, and even sports -- and you do it unconsciously all the time. We're simply finding the similar items in a large dataset by one or more dimensions, and then seeing how they compare in other dimensions. In other words, if you're the director of a small library in Ruraltown, Nebraska, you don't want to compare your library's collection numbers to those larger library systems in Omaha and Nebraska.
Mar 22, 2019
A data librarian is a librarian who specializes in helping people find and use data. While I'm not a librarian myself, I do help librarians find and use data, so when I saw this book mentioned on Twitter, I was quick to hop on our local library's OPAC and request a copy. Quick summary: a fantastic introduction to the strategies and tools used by data librarians!
Mar 15, 2019
With the news this week that the Trump Administration is trying to destroy the Institute for Museum and Library Services - for the third year in a row - library advocates across the United States snapped into action. ALA fired up a "send an email to your representative" tool as well as an interactive table for looking up your representative's and senator's respective votes on past library funding bills. As BookRiot says, not hyperbolically: "[d]efunding the IMLS would effectively end all federal funding of public libraries."
Feb 28, 2019
Are you going to build a community digital project, like a new online app or map for your city or region? Make sure to check out the project toolkit from the US Census Bureau's "The Opportunity Project" for some great tips and resources! The toolkit includes helpful explanations of the chief steps of planning, building, and supporting a digital product or service - and since it's provided by the Census Bureau, there are tons of links to data sources from federal, state, and local sources.
Feb 26, 2019
Something big is coming in 2020 - and we're not talking about the presidential election or the Olympics... it's the decennial US census! And libraries have a critical role to play to ensure that their communities are represented in the census data, and the resulting program dollars that will flow. Thankfully, the US Census Bureau and other organizations are working together to help everyone be counted fairly.