Earlier this week I attended the Talis Bridge Open Day and as this was the first time I had attended a Bridge day at Talis I was looking forward to sharing ideas on Bridge, self service and RFID with the other attendees. The Talis team were joined by Andy Chalbourne, Marketing Manager at Intellident and Andy Fish, Technical Manager and Richard Howgill, Sales and Services Manager from 3M Library Systems, both part of the Talis Additions Partner Programme, who were also there to share ideas and lead discussions on self service and RFID technologies.
The day was attended by a number of Talis customers from both academic and public libraries all wishing to gain a better understanding of how self-service and Bridge can further improve library efficiencies and to also see what may be around the corner in this area of technology.
I thought one of the most interesting and compelling presentations of the day came from Intellident’s Andy Chadbourne who focused firstly on the proven Return on Investment (ROI) of self-service terminals and went on to look at future developments of RFID technology. Andy pointed out that of the transactions possible through the self-service kiosk some library customers were seeing as much as 93% of those transactions through the terminals. The other 7% were those borrowers who would simply never use the terminal and still go to the counter to perform their transaction. In the future uses of RFID in the library, Andy highlighted the work Intellident are pursuing with shelf reader technology, stock wands and box readers. Andy’s presentation is available if you would like a copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and he would be happy to send it individually.
Another interesting presentation came from Andy Fish at 3M who talked about where we are with SIP3 and Interoperability. SIP3 is a major global project and will only be successful if the voices of all customers and suppliers are heard; there will be a SIP3 community website for people’s thoughts and opinions up and running in the very near future. As well as SIP3 Andy talked about the ISO 28560 tag data standard that all major suppliers in the UK have agreed to support that I really think will unlock library potential and we’ll start to see true library interoperability in the future.
There were a couple of thought provoking debates to round off the day, most notably on how data protection is a tricky area when trying to balance this with providing meaningful customer messages on self-service machines. Do you provide a list of outstanding titles on loan as a value added service to customers, or does that contravene data protection? I thought another interesting debate was on the reliance some borrowers can have on the library counter and the need to encourage more use of the self-service terminals. Some libraries mentioned they have taken date stamps away to try and help, but many libraries are well aware of the benefits that removing the front desk will have in driving up use of self service technologies.
I’m already looking forward to the next Bridge Open Day scheduled for later in the year.