Posted by Lori Ayre on June 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).

Since it doesn't reload itself, the 24-Hour Library requires staff to keep material loaded so it isn't a unit that you put out in the boonies and forget about it.  Instead, think of this unit as a stop on your delivery route.  It will need daily attention.  But given the problems everyone has had with some of the more mechanicaly complex models, this might be a good decision.

I also talked with folks at Bibliotheca and Envisionware about RFID and the need to get everyone focused on complying wth the new US Data Model so we can start reaping the benefits of having a standard in place.  They are ready and in fact both have started moving to the standard with new customers.  I hope that's true because its the right thing to do. I still would like to see libraries being more demanding about what they need in this regard including compliance with the data model and more innovative uses of the RFID tag than storing a barcode number.

Envisionware 24-Hour Library