Materials Handling Consultation, Team Building and Leadership Development Workshops

The Barrie Public Library is a two branch system based in Barrie, Ontario. The Library serves one of the fastest growing communities in Canada and the Library expects to grow to a six branch system by 2031, with the first two branches proposed for 2022 and 2024. The Library seeks assistance in achieving higher levels of service performance and increasing efficiencies especially in the area of holds process, sorting, and delivery. 

The scope of work with The Galecia Group includes a combination of materials handling analysis and recommendations provided by Lori Ayre along with change management, team building and leadership development workshops delivered by Cheryl Gould.

RFID and AMH Opportunities to Improve Patron Experience at Dayton Metro Library

Dayton Metro Library has embarked on a series of initiatives that will transition the library from a 22-outlet system with book-centered spaces to a 17-outlet system designed to better serve the diverse needs of the Montgomery County community.

The Library contracted with The Galecia Group for help evaluating the potential benefits of using new technologies to create optimized workflows for staff and improve the customer experience.

The contract included assessing the benefits, costs, and return on investment of RFID and materials handling technologies. In addition, the project included a process in which staff would learn more about the technology and participate in a series of activities that would help them envision how RFID, sorters, self check-in, and self check-out, could be employed to free up staff time and library spaces allowing staff to focus on the evolving needs of their patrons and better serve their communities.  

How to Sabotage Your Automated Materials Handling Implementation

If you are designing a new building, you shouldn’t be considering automated materials handling (AMH).  You should be planning for it. 

\When we talk about AMH, we are usually referring to two components:  a self-check-in machine and a sorter. With prices well under $30,000 to get a 3-bin AMH unit, nearly every library can afford one – budget-wise and space-wise.  They cost less than one FTE and can take up as little as 8’x10’ in floor space meaning it costs less than the FTE it saves.  And your AMH unit will never have any ergonomic injuries no matter how many returns it checks in every hour. 

A 3-bin AMH is the smallest size that makes sense.  It allows you to get items checked in immediately-which patrons really appreciate.  And, it separates the material that needs staff attention from material that can go right back up on the shelves-which staff really appreciate.  I usually recommend that the third bin be used for sorting out the returns that need to “go home” so they can easily be moved to delivery bins.

The most common size sorters fall in the 5-bin to 9-bin range.  It turns out that there is a point of diminishing returns (no pun intended) when it comes to sorter sizes and these 5-9 bin sorters hit some kind of sweet spot.  They are available for under $200,000 and can do the work of 2-3 FTE.  They eliminate numerous steps from the materials handling workflow, and improve services to customers (instant check-in, better turnaround of library material).  Every new library being built should assume they’ll have one -- and libraries that don’t have one now, should be looking into buying one.

And, in fact, many libraries are getting AMH systems for their libraries. Vendors report installing 3-4 systems per month.  But, something is going wrong with many of these installations and I don’t think it is the AMH equipment that is at fault.  It has everything to do with whether or not you and your staff are on the same page with the reason you’ve introduced an AMH system into the mix, and whether you've effectively planned for the changes that are required to leverage the new technology.  So, what’s going wrong?