WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (Aug. 4, 2010) Ė Eastern Illinois Universityís new Textbook Rental Building has installed Tech Logicís UltraSort system and RFID self check equipment.
Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is one of just a handful of universities in the nation that allows students to rent rather than purchase their textbooks each semester, which can amount to thousands of dollars in savings for students over four years. EIUís Textbook Rental Services has 19,200 gross square feet of space and contains storage for 210,000 volumes and sufficient prep area for staff. The facility has high efficiency lighting, occupancy sensors, high efficiency plumbing fixtures, white roof and reflective paving to reduce heat island effect, and polished concrete floors.
The new facility is self-serve. Students enter the building with a list of the books they must have, swipe their student card, or type in their e-number on touchscreen computers at either of two on-premise kiosks, which prints out a list of the books needed. The students walk among the stacks and select the textbooks that they need. When they are finished, they place their books on electronic check-out pads, which read the radio-frequency tags inside each book, verifying that the student has the correct book.
"We are the first textbook facility in the country to use this system," said Linda Moore, director of Career Services at EIU, who has a leadership role in the RFID project. "There isnít anything else out there like it." Moore also said analysis showed numerous benefits of RFID technology and the new facility such as improving inventory accuracy, reducing physical exertion, increasing convenience for students, and saving time.
EIU implemented eight self check-out stations with Tech Logicís CircIT software that are integrated into the circulation desk in the library. These self check-out stations are also equipped with Tech Logicís Smart Bins, which are mounted under the counter with a cutout for return. Students have the option of using the hands-free book return or the self check-out station to return books.
In the past, EIU has had to manage an inventory of about 200,000 books - cataloging them, distributing them, collecting them and storing them - a process that until now has been done mostly by hand. Tech Logicís UltraSort system eases the physical strain on staff members by automating the sorting process. EIUís 9-Bin Tech Logic UltraSort system includes an interior and exterior hands-free book drop. The hands-free book drop door only opens using the pin pad code or student ID card. Additionally, the UltraSort automatically checks items in upon return. This expedites the text rental return process for students and the university, as final semester grades and diploma awards rely on the studentís books being returned.
Tech Logic RFID technology is mostly used by libraries to facilitate check-out and check-in, eliminating the need for entering book and patron identification by hand or by using barcode readers. RFID technology enables multiple books to be checked at once, saving time. The system implemented at EIU breaks ground for the technologyís adaptation to textbook distribution in a higher education setting. Tech Logic provided all engineering, design, manufacturing, installation, training, and support for this project.
Gary Kirk, Tech Logicís Executive Director, said, "This project presents a wonderful opportunity to utilize our advanced automation technologies to help EIUís Textbook Rental Services leap in to the future of material handling. The many efficiencies gained by these technologies will provide EIU with a great return on investment and capacity to grow for many years to come. We are proud and honored to work with the university on this exciting endeavor."
For more information about Tech Logic and its library solutions, contact Gary W. Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800.494.9330, or visit www.tech-logic.com.
About Tech Logic
Tech Logic is the leading provider of innovative Automated Sorting Technologies (AST), circulation staff support tools, and patron self services for libraries. Tech Logic offers unequalled expertise, dedication to quality, and world-class customer support services.
Tech Logic provides barcode and RFID check-in and check-out systems, material return drops, AST systems, inter-library distribution systems, and patron reserve systems. Tech Logic designs, manufactures, delivers, installs, maintains, and services all of its systems.