With almost six years of RFID self-service under their belt, the library at the University of Huddersfield has been a very satisfied customer of our UK-based RFID specialist Intellident (now part of the bibliotheca Group). Having received their original Return on Investment, the library this year has upgraded their original kiosks to gain even more benefits!
RFID was originally introduced into the library ahead of the summer of 2006, when the library installed four dedicated self-service checkout machines to aid in the circulation of items for their students. One year of successful use later these were joined by two through-wall return points, which fed onto a 5-bin materials handling (sorter) system, allowing staff to focus on aiding the students rather than sorting stock. In 2008, Huddersfield University offered users the original RFID self-service kiosk in smartServe™, and in July of this year, the library replaced all four self-service kiosks with brand new smartServe Lite™ kiosks together with integrated payment stations.
Why? For Paula Clover, Lending Services Supervisor at the University Library, the reasons are obvious: "We are very pleased to offer our patrons a first-class borrowing system. The new stations are extremely easy to operate, very intuitive and really fast." That is exactly what students (and they are not alone here) expect from technical equipment nowadays, given that everyone is used to being able to access fast, convenient mobile technology wherever they happen to be. It is therefore not a coincidence that the row of smartServe Lite™ kiosks, in four different colours (mauve, pink, blue and green), is designed to standout in the library and attract attention.
Every machine has a dedicated payment station attached, which accepts credit/debit cards, coins and bank notes and gives change if required. Paula Clover is thrilled: "The new kiosks are fantastic and very efficient. They allow us to increase the self-service rates so that more staff are available to provide a service to the customers."
With over 370,000 items within the library stock, the Library was delighted in the 2010/2011 academic year to have issued more than 215,000 items through the kiosks, with an additional 72,000 items renewed.
Of even more importance, however, is in the increase in fine taking with the new bank of kiosks. With the introduction of Chip & Pin payment and a range of convenient cash options, more fines have been paid than ever before. Over a period of six weeks last year, an average of only £92 was paid at the terminals without a card option. However, over the same period of this academic year, the average taken by the kiosks has increased to a staggering £606 of which £274 is via Chip & Pin.
The 23,000 students and 1,600 university staff members enjoy an up-to-date service which they can use at any time, without the need for help from the staff and irrespective of the opening times. Originally one of the RFID pioneers in England, Huddersfield University Library is regarded in the industry as a seasoned user happy to share the experience it has acquired from working with the systems daily.
For more information, go to www.hud.ac.uk/undergraduate/support/library
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.