January 22, 2009 - McHenry, IL. Escambia County (FL) School District needed to find a better way to manage their textbooks. By adopting a centralized, web-distributed textbook tracking system, Escambia County saved $100,000 in the first year of implementation – dollars that would have been used to purchase replacement texts.
And the savings keep piling up. By the end of this school year, total savings from centralized textbook management will exceed a third of a million dollars.
A large, geographically vast district in Pensacola, Florida, Escambia County had been having a difficult time keeping track of its huge textbook investment. Inventory and loss reporting needed improvement. Above all, the district needed a way to help move surplus books to schools where they were needed.
A committee of staff, administrators and technical personnel drew up a list of features the district needed for a new textbook management system. After hearing presentations from several vendors, Escambia County determined that Destiny Textbook Manager from Follett Software Company was the best fit for its priorities. Destiny Textbook Manager installs on district servers and can be accessed anywhere in the district from any web-connected computer.
- The web-based, centralized system allows the district to get a direct look at school textbook inventories.
- Destiny makes it possible to easily transfer books from schools with a surplus to schools that needed extra books.
- The program allows fines to follow the student from school to school, enabling the district to hold students more accountable.
- The use of scanners for data entry, along with Destiny’s intuitive interface, minimizes the time burden for staff.
- Centralized management also eases the process of redistributing textbooks during the many school consolidations the district was facing.
Escambia implemented Destiny Textbook Manager in 2006. Sheila Brandt, coordinator of media services for the district, said that the savings from being able to transfer textbook surpluses among schools were impressive. "The first year we saved $100,000," Brandt said. "This is money that would have been spent purchasing replacement textbooks. But because we were able to take surplus books from one school and ship them to another school, that money stayed in the budget."
According to Brandt, before a school in the district can order additional textbooks, they must first use Destiny to try to locate a surplus of them in another school and request a transfer. "This school year, we have saved $121,600 in transfers," Brandt reported. "We expect to have additional savings as the year progresses."