Sometimes you see big changes because of the flash and glitter associated with it. Other times you notice things have changed subtly - but profoundly - around you. Over the next few months as HPL, there will be some of both. We expect the process to take a good portion of 2014 to complete.
What am I talking about? The library has contracted with a company called Bibliotheca to convert our collection management over to an RFID system. The changes will be both subtle and really, really slick and visible.
Our entire collection - from books to media to ephemeral items will be tagged with an RFID tag. These tags hold information about the item that allow us to more easily locate and manage the collection.
Our staff will have RFID readers at their stations to facilitate startlingly speedy, accurate check-out and check-in and other routine material processes. The upside to all of this is greater efficiency handling the mundane, repetitive tasks that staff must perform every day. This will allow more staff time to be devoted to actually helping people find what they are looking for during a visit to the library. It will also allow us to focus more on "helping" in general and less on clerical work.
The flash and glitter:
Not only do these units look nice, clean, and modern, we found them to work extremely well in real-world observation during our product research phase.
A new way of returning items you've checked out. This return looks like a regular bookshelf. Unlike a regular shelf though, when you bring your items back in to the library, this shelf unit checks your books back in for you! It will even alert staff when a "book on hold" has been returned. As an added bonus, patrons can then print out a receipt or check their account right there to make sure everything is returned.