Keys to Self Service Success

Presentation at CLA Conference on the keys to implementing self-service technologies. It's more than choosing a nice self-check machine. Here's what we came up with:

  1. Involve staff in redefining the patron experience and their new roles
  2. Make sure changes result in enhanced/new services
  3. Take needs of affected customers into account
  4. Keep initiative aligned with strategic goals
  5. Modify spaces, policies, and collection to support goals
  6. Support patrons with training and positive messaging
  7. Provide information throughout the library so customers have the information they need, when they need it
  8. Make it a happening! Be bold and colorful and have fun!

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.  

Strategic Selection and Implementation of Technology

I just came back from the California Library Association Annual Conference (which was a big hit, by the way!).  As usual, I made my way through the exhibits talking with the vendors about ongoing projects and how things are going.  This time, I came away a bit frustrated because it seemed like so many AMH and RFID projects appeared to be going a bit awry.

The thing is, projects can go wrong very quickly when libraries pursue complex technology implementations without retaining the connection to the "why" of the project.  In order to successfully roll out a capital-intensive technology project, it is critical to establish a clear objective, or set of priorities, for doing so.  And to continually make choices based on those priorities. 

RFID: What is it? Where is it going? Is it right for your library?

This one-day presentation and workshop was sponsored by the libraries in SE Wisconsin including Waukesha County Federated Library System and Milwaukee Public, and UW-Milwaukee. The session included a three-hour presentation that introduced RFID technology and then worked through all the issues relevant to libraries considering or using RFID in libraries.