HIGH TECH: New technology will give users more one-on-one time with Clarence Regional Library staff.
HIGH TECH: New technology will give users more one-on-one time with Clarence Regional Library staff. Adam Hourigan

Innovative technology behind Valley library upgrades

THE use of innovative new technology is primed to give library users more one-on-one time with Clarence Regional Library staff.

All library branches have now introduced radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which allows up to five loan items to be scanned simultaneously rather than individually as happened previously.

In addition, the Grafton and Bellingen libraries have also introduced do-it-yourself loan stations, which allow users to issue their own borrowing and manage their accounts.

Both technologies, which rely on electronic tags on all library items, are aimed at improving efficiency when borrowing or returning items and provide a quicker way for library staff to locate and identify stock on the shelves.

Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, said the net result was that library staff would be able to spend more time with library users.

"I'm confident borrowers will find the RFID system easy to use, more convenient and faster," he said.

"The introduction of the new system will also increase community interaction, as staff can be placed in prominent positions to help customers."

Cr Williamson said provision had also been made for those who may have difficulties reading a computer screen with appropriate font sizes and instructions that are straightforward and easy to read.

The new Sir Earle Page Library and Education Centre in Grafton has two self-issue kiosks, RFID security gates and an RFID Smart Bin for secure out-of-hours book returns.

Cr Williamson said the system would ensure only library-issued material was returned to the library, averting the possibility of returning non-library material in error.

"It will also speed up the stocktake process for library staff and adds greatly to the security of the collection," he said.

He said current staffing levels would be maintained, so the new system would allow for levels of service to be upheld and improved across all of the Clarence Valley libraries.



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