Siouxland Libraries Upgrade System
by Brian Kirk, Meteorologist/Reporter
June 25, 2013 6:06 PM
The Siouxland Library System has installed and has begun operating the next generation of check-out and return system, South Dakota’s first. It streamlines employee time and actually allows the staff to be more available in the library itself. To use the system, you simply scan your card and slide the books through to machine's check-in slot. A conveyor belt automatically intakes the item, scans it and sends it further down the line until the correct bin is reached and the machine sweeps them in.
Mary Johns, Director of Siouxland Libraries says she has worked with the system and it can make a world of difference. “We would much rather used their creative minds, and their skills, and their knowledge to have direct contact with customers and help with that whole ‘learn for life’ process as opposed to just doing rogue functions.”
To check books out, you just place your stack of books on a specially designed pad, wait several seconds, and you're on your way. You can pay by credit card, and you can also have receipts sent to you via email right on the spot. If you put a hold on a book, the system will flag it as soon as it comes in, print out your request, and your book will be reserved immediately for you. Johns says an added option is available for those who use the system, “We will also be using a fines and fee payments at the self-check units so that you can use your credit card or debit card to pee those fees.”
Another concern that is addressed by the machine is eliminating the repetitive motions needed to check in books by hand, which has caused injuries in the past. Making the same maneuver repeatedly can stress the arm muscles and agitate joints and bones. Johns says the muscles and bones can become stressed and actually cause injury. “There’s also the repetitive motion of checking in materials all day every day, so that has been minimized.”
The technology is based on radio frequency identification, which is a passive system that is similar to your dog’s I.D. chip. This will allow library staff to get out from behind the counters and concentrate on enhancing the service to the community.