Public libraries present unique challenges which EEMS appreciate and understand well. Users for most part don’t have personal logins to desktop machines. Users can be a mix of members and visitors (local and international). Printing and copying costs must be paid in advance and PC reservation solutions are important to reduce the burden on front line staff.
Public library users
The users within our Public Library installations are the most diverse. Their ages are across the full spectrum, backgrounds vary significantly as do language skills, and users can be short term visitors or members of the library. All these users have the same requirements and access to resources, so solutions we provide into this environment need to be user friendly considering all of these constrains.
In addition to this, print jobs that are sent from these users are typically associated to generic accounts, since users don’t have a typical set of network credentials like we would expect to see in a school or office.
Our solutions are designed to be governed by a card, with the membership card as the primary focus (be that barcode or magstripe) and then have considerations for walk-ins from there. Print jobs should be able to be collected and paid for by the swipe of the card, and we look to ensure that print jobs available for release are easily identifiable to limit the chance of accidentally releasing and paying for unwanted jobs. Copy jobs too should be able to be performed and paid for by the swipe of a membership card, or a card the walk-in user had enrolled in the system via the self serve kiosk.
The kiosks we recommend in these environments should allow a member to add credit to their account, and support the use case of a walk-in user being able to enroll a card in the system to perform copy and print jobs. i.e. if the Library has a membership card that makes use of a barcode, we would aim to allow a walk-in to enroll any barcode card from their wallet in the system to setup an account to copy or print (this this is an option some sites choose to not allow).
Our kiosks can accept notes, coins and can be extended to allow EFTPOS facilities also.
Kiosks are integral to allow an end to end self service solution that reduces the administration overhead of Library Staff related to print and copy management.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
As library resources can have high utilization, more and more sites are allowing users to ‘BYOD’ supporting connection to a Library supported WiFi network. The next logical question from these users and sites is ‘How do I print?’. Sites that have this as a requirement can be confident we have a solution that can meet these needs also, not just for members of the Library, though walk-in guests also.
Managing PC access and fair utilization of the resources has for some time required significant staff overhead. We have a number of PC Reservation solutions we can consider for a site depending on their total solution needs. The end goal of these solutions is that the control of access and allocation of PC resources should be self managed by members and walk-ins of the Library. Managing the end of booked sessions to free up the resource for the next reservation shouldn’t require the intervention of the staff or negotiation between end users. Rather, when one booking ends, the user should be logged off the PC and only the owner of the next reservation should be able to logon.
We have a number of success stories in the Public Library space we would be happy to discuss with prospective clients.