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Mid-Continent Public Library bridges trans-Atlantic knowledge

As part of a fact-finding mission to understand how UK and US libraries can share RFID experience and best practices, Mid-Continent Public Library CEO and Library Director Steven Potter joined bibliotheca UK staff on a week-long journey to explore the future of the public library service.

Although sharing a common language and a degree of common history, UK and US libraries have previously had little opportunity, or need, to interact with each other. However, as RFID becomes increasingly pervasive within the US library community Steve Potter recognized that learning from UK installations, many of which deployed RFID over ten years ago, would be beneficial for both sides of the Atlantic.

Steve Potter shared his thoughts: “Mid-Continent Library Service has grown substantially over recent years in the quality of service that we offer to our community and we are proud of the many innovations that we have already been able to bring. We have known bibliotheca for a long time, indeed back to ITG days, and have always shared ideas and concepts with them. For me, the growth of this company from a US-only entity to a global group gave me a great chance to understand how the thought-leadership of other library systems outside of the US could be combined with the enthusiasm, creative thinking and appetite of my fellow American librarians. This trip therefore presented me with an opportunity to understand how the UK have developed and changed their processes since the implementation of their early RFID systems, while also allowing me to share some of our thoughts on the future of the library.”

Al Coalla, President of bibliotheca US added “Our industry is full of fantastically innovative people like Steve and we really need to embrace their creativity. Our role, as bibliotheca, is to help capture the output of these types of sessions and ensure that the knowledge is disseminated across our global library business and into our future product developments”.

Following this visit, bibliotheca are confident that they can more formally bridge the gap between libraries of different nations and will be working with Steve and other industry leaders to understand how this can be achieved. Andy Chadbourne, Group Marketing Director commented “We have been thrilled to have Steve visit our UK business and meet with librarians in a similar role to share their experience with RFID and we are really excited about how we can help to intertwine libraries from countries across the globe. Steve, in representing Mid-Continent, really was the catalyst for this journey and we thank him for his creative thinking and allowing us to assist with the trip.”

About bibliotheca
bibliotheca is dedicated to the development of solutions that help libraries connect with users in unique ways and provide engaging experiences, allowing them to continually evolve their library services for the changing needs of their communities. Their products are designed to provide a welcoming, intuitive and seamless environment for those that use the library – wherever they choose to use it - be that at home, on the move or within the library itself.

With over 30,000 libraries as part of their family, they have installed and continue to support more than 10,000 self-service units, 6,000 security systems and over 650 Automated Materials Handling (sorter) systems. In addition, the cloudLibrary™ digital platform powers eBook and eAudiobook lending at a further 3,000 libraries.

About Mid-Content Public Library
Mid-Continent Public Library is the largest library system in the metropolitan area, operating 33 libraries and serving over 750,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties. The Library strives to provide exceptional customer service and expanding access to materials, programs, and technology including a world class genealogy and family history library.

With the 19th largest public library collection in the nation, over 10,000 live programs per year, and constantly expanding resources, Mid-Continent Public Library has been providing world class customer service to the area since 1965.

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