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Jun 22, 2012
Yesterday the Exhibit Hall opened and I spent some time with vendors learning what's new. Here's what I found out.
Envisionware has a new(ish) kiosk along the lines of Evanced BranchAnywhere. It was debuted at PLA but I guess I missed it. It's a nice looking product. Three models available in varying capacities: 200, 400, 800. The one on display is the 400 item model. What I like about this product is its simplicity. No giant cranes for putting the items that are returned back in the slots. Instead returns are sorted into one of 5-6 bins inside so staff can quickly grab the right bin to do whatever needs to be done (e.g. reload the items in one bin, take this bin back to the library to fill holds, etc).
Jun 3, 2012
I am one of several consultants participating in the free consulting sessions being provided as part of the Consultants Give Back programs delivered at the major conferences. The date for CGB at ALA Anaheim is Sunday, June 24th from 1:30-5:30 at the Conference Center, Room 203B.
I had hoped that our co-sponsors (ASCLA and PLA) would provide a handy webpagethat listed the consultants participating but evidently simple webpages are hard to come by! Instead, there is a downloadable PDF (grrrr) circulating (somewhere) as a press release. Good luck finding it!
So, for your convenience, I offer the following list. Please contact the consultant directly if you'd like to make an appointment at the Conference.
Lori Bowen Ayre, The Galecia Group
- Open source software (Koha, Evergreen, Fulfillment) evaluation and planning; materials handling workflow optimization, automated materials handling and RFID assessment, selection, and ROI.
May 24, 2012
The objective of the new U.S. Data Model for RFID (NISO Document RP-6-2012) is to create an environment where every library can use every other library’s RFID tag regardless of the supplier. In addition, hardware from any RFID vendor should be interoperable and the systems should be free from proprietary interfaces that make the hardware work with any given ILS. If libraries adopt the U.S.
May 13, 2012
I've been participating in the Consultants Give Back (CGB) program at ALA and PLA since we started doing it a couple of years ago. The concept is to provide a short, free consulting session for libraries that might not otherwise afford a consultant. Or to answer some easy questions without having to get into a consulting contract. Or maybe you want to meet a consultant to see if they're someone you'd like to hire down the line. It's a win-win for everyone!
May 8, 2012
I try to steer clear of anything having to do with e-books. The whole thing just makes me mad at everyone involved: publishers, customers, libraries, everyone. The fact of DRM and the people that support DRM by virtue of buying DRM'd stuff is just plain wrong. I figure if I ignore it long enough it will all just go away and everyone will come to their senses. That's my strategy anyway. Well, here's someone who agrees with me.
Apr 1, 2012
NISO has finalized their recommendation and the U.S. Data Profile is finally resolved. They've settled on ISO 28560-2 which was the same recommendation in the version they released for public comment. I haven't had a chance to see if there are any changes but will keep you posted.
Having a U.S. Data Profile for Library RFID is fantastic for libraries. Now...all you have to do is put pressure on your vendors to transition your library to the new standard. Interoperability here we come!
Mar 19, 2012
News from the Vermont Department of Libraries Newsletter:
At their February 23 meeting, members of the Catamount Library Network, which includes the Department of Libraries (DOL), Brooks Memorial Library (Brattleboro), Springfield Town Library, Rutland Free Library, Fletcher Memorial Library (Ludlow), and Waterbury Public Library, made the unanimous decision to proceed with their project using the Evergreen Open Source software system. The DOL is participating in this project with the vision that the new Catamount Evergreen Network will develop into a statewide integrated library system that includes public, school and academic libraries and which will also support the DOL catalog and the statewide interlibrary loan network.
This decision came after months of investigation, meetings and phone calls with members of Koha and Evergreen library projects around the country (including Vermont’s VOKAL Koha group) and conversations with Vermont librarians from public, school and academic libraries. The decision was also based on documentation and recommendations from Lori Ayre, a consultant with the Galecia Group. The DOL hired Galecia Group, based in California, in 2011 to create a set of “features” for the Koha system that could be used as a comparison with a similar Evergreen “features” list. Ayre is highly regarded in the library open source world and is knowldegeable about both the Koha and Evergreen systems. Her expertise and evaluation was a critical, objective component of the investigation process. The new Koha and Evergreen features comparison list, which was an essential tool in the Catamount review and selection process, is now being reviewed by the greater Koha and Evergreen communities. A working copy is available here: http://tinyurl.com/CatamountProject
Mar 10, 2012
Someone recently asked me for suggestions to ask of other libraries when doing your due diligence on an AMH vendor. I was happy to get that question because too often I think that libraries don't do an adequate job of digging into the experiences of other libraries with vendors. And even when they do, oftentimes the person providing the reference seems to have some incentive to paint a pretty picture rather than giving you the harsh truth. I guess if they tell you about something that hasn't gone well, it suggests they did something wrong.....
I try my best to be as honest as I can be about my assessments of vendors and libraries too! So, if you ask me, you will get an honest answer. I urge libraries to do the same. No vendor is perfect and no procurement, implementation, migration is either. Don't be shy about sharing what hasn't worked well or was HAS worked well. As my therapist used to say....it's all just information.
Anyway, here's some questions that I recommend you ask about a libraries work with an AMH vendor:
Feb 27, 2012
Mick Fortune has released the first results of this year's RFID survey. Mick does this survey every year in the UK. This year, Alan Butters (Australia) and I asked Mick to try for a global reach with the survey and we succeeded. The survey includes respondents from several countries around the world and include over 50 libraries from the U.S. and over 50 from Australia.
Jan 18, 2012
Today the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced the publication of the new recommended practice: Physical Delivery of Library Resources (NISO RP-12-2012).
The document focuses on three key areas: the physical move, automation, and the management of physical delivery ranging from labeling and containers to automation and contracting with courier services, this Recommended Practice addresses both the lending and the borrowing library’s activities related to delivering and returning a physical item.
I laud the effort made in putting these recommendations together. There is a lot of detail and you are bound to pick up some new good ideas. However, there were also a lot of "it depends" and I found it descriptive in places when it should be have been prescriptive. As we all know, just because many libraries do something a certain way, doesnt' make it a good idea! Still,I think the work is useful and certainly a worthwhile read for anyone involved in library delivery.