The University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) library has enhanced the student experience by getting books onto its shelves within two hours of receipt, following the implementation of advanced software, which forms part of Capita's library management system. The library is the first to implement this type of solution, delivered in partnership with 3M, which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) – the next generation barcode - to improve its stock management, automate the purchasing and receipt of stock and improve the quality of data held within the library management system.
Employees at the award winning library* no longer need to physically scan the barcodes on books, as remote ‘readers' positioned in the library's 3M sortation device collect information from the RFID tags and instantly update the library management system. This results in time savings of up to 3.5 hours a day as stock is delivered shelf ready and the acquisitions process is completed in seconds. The investment that UCLan has made in the sorter is further exploited as the machine is put to use by library staff, as well as students returning books.
"Libraries are a core part of the student experience, as they provide the resources and support needed to underpin teaching, learning and research across all subjects. At UCLan we have invested £100 million during the last five years to enhance the campus environment, infrastructure and technological support. This investment is reflected in the high levels of student satisfaction we are now receiving from users of our library facilities – a vital factor as the university marketplace becomes even more competitive," said Jeremy Andrew, head of library services, UCLan. "Based upon our ideas, Capita was able to provide us with an innovative solution that was sophisticated and flexible enough to pull a number of components together and replace manual processes with automated ones. The software also captures additional management information relating to items that are returned after being used within the library. Overall, this has enhanced our students' experience, as they have the resources they need when they need them, and it has saved us a lot of time and money along the way."
Jon Peart, associate director, libraries, Capita said: "The library market for universities is a changing landscape and one that is more competitive than ever. We are working closely with our Additions partners to ensure that we are a step ahead of demand and can provide solutions that are innovative, while being robust and trustworthy. UCLan is our second customer to be awarded for its innovative use of RFID technology. We look forward to using the lessons we have learnt to replicate this success across the rest of our customer base."
*The University of Central Lancashire won the BIC/CILIPRFID Innovation Award on October 13 2011.