Posted by Lori Ayre on September 17, 2003

Imagine a world where patrons could save their bookmarks and the data they provide on online forms would be pre-filled the next time they were asked for that data....where passwords they'd set up on websites would be remembered for them....just like our home PCs! And now imagine that there was a way to do this that was completely secure, portable and affordable. Well, that's my take on the AxisCard.

It's a cool new product from Offshoot Systems. I've met Mr. Offshoot Systems and he's a fine upstanding citizen looking to make a contribution to the library world. He gave me a demo of the card here at my local Starbucks/Hot Spot. It's pretty slick and it made me wish everyone had them in their libraries (and any other place offering public access computers).

And there's another aspect to the card that has me see, there's an opportunity here for libraries to painlessly generate revenue from these cards if we combine the Shop for The Library concept in with these cards. Here's how it would work.

When the patron sits down at your PAC and slips in their customized AxisCard (with your library's "skin" or branding), a special toolbar pops up that contains their bookmarks, perhaps a special set of bookmarks you've provided and a QuickLink bar. This QuickLink bar is a small, inconspicuous set of shortcuts to shopping sites like Ebay,, Smith&Hawkin, Petaluma Feed & know, places everyone visits all the time. Anyway, it's just a feature that is built into the cards that maybe you wouldn't even pay attention to if you didn't care.

BUT, imagine if everytime a patron used the quicklaunch bar to visit ebay, you got a kickback from ebay?! That's how the Shop for Your Library thing works. It doesn't cost anything extra to the patrons but the library benefits from their shopping spree. I don't this wrong? Seems like a clever idea to me. Now if I could just get someone to try it!