Tech Logic

Rochester (NY) City School District Pioneers RFID in the School Library Setting

Never shy about taking on a challenge, Rochester (NY) City School District tackled a migration of their Integrated Library System (ILS) and implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in the same year.

Under the leadership of Dr. Colleen Sadowski (Executive Director Library & Media Services) and Dr. Melissa Frost (Systems Librarian) the district migrated 43 school libraries in 2022-2023 from the Follett Destiny ILS to The Library Corporation’s LibrarySolution for Schools Integrated Library System.

“One of the key factors in our decision to change from Follett Destiny to TLC’s LibrarySolution for Schools was the vast selection of ready-made reports available to us,” said Dr. Sadowski. “If we find we need something different, TLC will build reports specifically for us.”

Also in 2023, Rochester City School District implemented RFID in their school libraries with Tech Logic.

While thousands of public libraries have implemented RFID for efficiencies in circulation workflow, school libraries have been slower to adopt it due to conversion costs. However, Dr. Frost and Dr. Sadowski developed a successful case for moving to RFID based first and foremost on more efficient inventories and fewer repetitive motion injuries.

Finding missing materials using RFID also meant money saved on replacement costs. In addition, some of the district’s high schools will adopt RFID for self-checkout.

“The primary goal for our RFID project was faster, less cumbersome inventories to meet the requirements for annual inventories in school libraries in New York state,” Dr. Sadowski explained.

Their libraries were struggling to complete inventories because manual scanning required days of effort. Staff also suffered repetitive motion injuries from triggers on the barcode scanners and crawling to access books on low shelves. Inventory was a necessary evil, but an unpopular task that was difficult or impossible for all libraries to complete each year.

Through her research, Dr. Frost learned about the benefits of using RFID for inventory and ongoing shelf management.

Earlier in the year, at FETC 2023, Rochester described their motivations for pioneering RFID in the school library setting (see the full FETC 2023 presentation, below).

Rochester City School District selected Tech Logic for their RFID project because of the sister-company relationship between TLC and Tech Logic. Collaboration between the companies ensures system compatibility and combined customer support and problem solving.

“The Tech Logic tagging software was easy to train and use at the shelves or at circulation desks,” said Dr. Frost, “an important consideration for a large multi-site system and librarians with a wide range of technology skills.”

Library staff were responsible for tagging each collection with the addition of extra hours, teachers fulfilling professional development hours, volunteers, substitutes, and students doing service projects. During tagging, the condition of each item was assessed for damage and weeded as necessary.

Whether working in teams of two or as individuals, tagging worked best for the schools in four-hour blocks. Collection size for each district library averaged around 6,000 items and tagging was usually completed in 40 hours depending on other demands.

After RFID tagging was completed, the libraries were ready for streamlined inventory using staffCIRC TRAK, Tech Logic’s multi-function handheld RFID scanner. Tech Logic’s staffCIRC TRAK software supports four types of RFID shelf scanning:

– Gathering barcode numbers for inventory (and, with TLC’s ILS solutions, automatically relaying the barcode data to the inventory module)

– Checking individual item statuses against the ILS in real time and flagging exception statuses

– Locating specific lists of items

– Verifying active RFID tag security

Staff members used staffCIRC TRAK to gather barcode numbers quickly from shelved items, which automatically relayed the barcode data to the LS2 Inventory module in LibrarySolution for Schools.

 

Tech Logic’s staffCIRC TRAK wand communicates wirelessly in real time with the library’s ILS, notifying the user immediately when it detects a shelved item that has an exception status.

 

In the past, gathering barcode numbers for inventory took Rochester’s staff several full workdays because they had to pull and scan each item barcode manually. Now, with RFID and staffCIRC TRAK, inventory scanning is done in a few hours. After a quick scan of the shelves with staffCIRC TRAK, LS2 Inventory updates in real time and produces a “Missing Item” report for the inventoried collection.

This process also serves to help staff identify items that have been missed during tagging. After tagging those missed items, the  items that are truly missing are deleted and considered for replacement by school librarians.

“We have found that we have more accurate inventories, and it is easier to find books on our shelves that may have wandered back in after being deleted or loaned elsewhere,” said Dr. Frost.

Challenges for Rochester on this project came in two areas—barcode symbology used in their previous ILS and inaccurate RFID tag encoding by a book jobber. TLC solved the barcode symbology problem with database customization during migration. Inaccurate RFID tag encoding by a book jobber created problems that delayed inventory in some locations until Tech Logic developed a customized solution.

Dr. Frost recommends spot checking new acquisitions arriving from book jobbers with an antenna to verify the correct RFID tag encoding.

Dr. Frost also offers other suggestions for school libraries following in their path. “Check to make sure that volunteers who tag materials are encoding and adhering the tags correctly in each item. Don’t worry about weeding for condition before the tagging project, because you’ll handle each item as you tag.”

The results of Rochester’s RFID project are completely tagged and weeded collections that satisfy the school district’s requirements. The collections are also ready for ongoing inventories and shelf management with staffCIRC TRAK to locate missing or lost materials. Students and faculty further appreciate using an up-to-date catalog.

“The staffCIRC TRAK wands are very popular,” said Dr. Frost, “and each library would now like to have their own.”

Congratulations to Rochester City School District for spearheading RFID in the school library setting!

Before RFID, inventories took several full workdays and lots of repetitive motion as each item was pulled from the shelf and scanned manually with a barcode scanner (left). Now, with RFID and staffCIRC TRAK, inventories are done in a few hours with the sweep of staffCIRC TRAK wand across the shelved items (right).

 

Tech Logic connects libraries with their communities through dynamic, innovative, and efficient workflow technologies—delivering unparalleled service and outstanding patron experience. Since 1997, we have worked exclusively with libraries to develop solutions that empower library patrons and staff.

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TLC & Tech Logic Share “Libraries Are Essential” Messaging at ALA

The Library Corporation (TLC) and Tech Logic invite attendees of the American Library Association (ALA) summer user conference who believe Libraries are Essential to visit Booth #4516/4616. The companies will be exhibiting June 23-26, 2023, at the conference in Chicago, Illinois, and are encouraging attendees to see how libraries are supported by their essential services. T-shirts with the “Libraries are Essential” phrase will also be given away at the booth while supplies last.

TLC has been providing library solutions to public libraries and school districts for nearly 50 years. A sampling of these solutions will be showcased at the conference for catalogers, system administrators, and library staff who would benefit from unparalleled support.

We ask attendees to keep an eye out for the biggest AMH show machine that Tech Logic has ever brought to a conference. Spanning booths 4516 and 4616, this fully functioning AMH system will be decorated like a caterpillar and will sort books up and over the aisle. Attendees are encouraged to induct items and watch them be sorted to the next booth. 

Tech Logic will also have new selfCIRC LOCKERS at the booth, as well as self-checkout systems, security gates, and shelf management.

Booth Schedule

  • Fri, June 23, 2023 5:30p – 7:00p CT  — Giveaway at 5:30p
  • Sat, June 24, 2023  9:00a – 5:00p CT — Giveaway at 10:10a
  • Sun, June 25, 2023  9:00a – 5:00p CT — Giveaway at 10:10a
  • Mon, June 26, 2023  9:00a – 2:00p CT

To schedule a time to meet with the teams, please contact sales@tlcdelivers.com. Or stop by Booth #4516/4616.

 

About The Library Corporation & Tech Logic

Established in 1974 and under the same ownership today, The Library Corporation (TLC) continues to pioneer library technology with award-winning integrated library systems and standalone copy cataloging services. Over 5,500 libraries worldwide use LibrarySolution, LibrarySolution for Schools, CARLSolution, ITSMARC, and eBiblioFile from TLC.

Tech Logic, established in 1997 and part of the TLC family since 2005, provides innovative solutions like automated material handling (totalAMH), streamlined staff tools (staffCIRC), and patron self-service (selfCIRC) to hundreds of libraries across North America and internationally. 

Together, TLC and Tech Logic provide a unified experience and unparalleled customer support – from an international, woman-owned small business – for libraries seeking single-vendor systems integration. The company is headquartered in West Virginia, with offices in Colorado, Minnesota, and Singapore.

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TLC and Tech Logic Bring RFID to K-12 School Libraries at FETC

The Library Corporation (TLC) invites attendees of FETC to visit Booth #3316. The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place January 24-26, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana. TLC will showcase powerful RFID integration for schools within its prestigious, modern library management system (LMS). Attendees can also learn about the native data security practices and student privacy features inherent to the LMS. TLC will also showcase its latest library mobile app, cloud hosting services, and vendor-agnostic cataloging services.

Secure Library Software

  • LibrarySolution for Schools — Award-winning K-12 library management with age-appropriate user experiences for all students
  • TLCCloud Services — A cloud hosting service that utilizes Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and exclusive winner of Modern Library Award’s Service of the Year in 2021
  • TLCGo! — A world-leading and customizable library app that also lets borrowers checkout from their own device

Standalone Cataloging Services

  • ITSMARC — Over 81 million high-quality bibliographic and authority records from 20+ databases, via web or Z39.50
  • eBiblioFile — Continuous delivery of RDA-enriched MARC records for your OverDrive and cloudLibrary records
  • RDAExpress — Automate your library’s entire RDA conversion process in 24 hours or less

TLC has been providing reliable library automation and data services to K-12 schools for decades with LibrarySolution for Schools. Its excellent customer service to school district libraries is due to TLC’s company stability in the marketplace. Through its 48 year history, TLC has focused on select, key acquisitions and, as such, TLC is the only vendor to offer complementary RFID technologies through its subsidiary Tech Logic. Together, TLC and Tech Logic are pleased to support libraries such as Rochester City School District (RCSD) to pioneer RFID in the K-12 library market.

See the RFID Transformation in Action:

  • TDT08 | RFID Solutions for the School Library
    Wednesday, January 25, 2023  10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
    Expo Hall: Technology Discovery Theater
    Presenters: Dr. Colleen Sadowski (RCSD), Dr. Melissa Frost (RCSD), John Burns (TLC), and Tom Loy (Tech Logic)
  • C121 | RFID in the School Library
    Wednesday, January 25, 2023  2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
    Room: 201-202
    Presenters: Dr. Colleen Sadowski (RCSD) and Dr. Melissa Frost (RCSD)

Booth Schedule

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2023  12:00 PM – 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023  9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday, January 26, 2023  9:00 AM – 12:30 PM 

To schedule a time to meet with the TLC team, please contact sales@tlcdelivers.com. Or stop by Booth #3316. Representatives can discuss your library’s needs and answer any questions about TLC products and services.

About The Library Corporation & Tech Logic
Established in 1974 and under the same ownership today, The Library Corporation (TLC) continues to pioneer library technology with award-winning integrated library systems and standalone copy cataloging services. Over 5,500 libraries worldwide use LibrarySolution, LibrarySolution for Schools, CARLSolution, ITSMARC, and eBiblioFile from TLC. Tech Logic, established in 1997 and part of the TLC family since 2005, provides innovative solutions like automated material handling (totalAMH), streamlined staff tools (staffCIRC), and patron self-service (selfCIRC) to hundreds of libraries across North America and internationally. Together, TLC and Tech Logic provide a unified experience and unparalleled customer support — from an international, woman-owned small business — for libraries seeking single-vendor systems integration. The company is headquartered in West Virginia, with offices in Colorado, Minnesota, and Singapore.

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A Perfect Fit: Winter Park Library, TLC, and Tech Logic Team up for Prestigious Building Project

The Library Corporation (TLC) and Tech Logic congratulate Winter Park Library (WPL) on the completion of their distinguished new building, designed by the renowned architect, Sir David Adjaye. The two vendors served as a single systems integrator for the library’s project, providing the foundational CARLSolution integrated library system and Tech Logic’s suite of automation solutions. The building project has been nominated for the ArchDaily 2022 Building of the Year Awards.

Winter Park Library has been operating from its new building for approximately one month, though the project has undergone several phases since its bond referendum passed in 2016. WPL set out to create a community space and a new service model with the future in mind. They wanted to have flexibility, to be accessible, and to meet patrons at the point of need. TLC’s integrated library system and Tech Logic’s automation hardware were key to that success.

In October 2020, WPL completed their migration from SirsiDynix to TLC as one phase of the new service model. Melissa Schneider, Assistant Director at Winter Park Library, shared what went into their decision: “Our focus was that we had to have a catalog that functioned the way people expect modern technology to function. We wanted that ‘Amazon search experience.’ We didn’t see anything else on the market that came anywhere close to what TLC offered.”

In the new service model, roving staff are equipped with a tablet, fully mobile CARLConnect Staff and the CARLConnect Discovery FRBR-ized catalog from TLC, miniature RFID pads, and everything they need to assist patrons. The Winter Park community appreciates the library’s hands-on and concierge-like service. When the new building opened, it also included eight selfCIRC PRIME self-service kiosks, rfidGATE security gates, and a new totalAMH automated material handler, all provided by Tech Logic.

“The game-changer for us with Tech Logic’s materials handler was the multi-item induction feature,” stated Schneider. “In terms of thinking about how our members use the library, we thought, ‘We’re going to build this incredible state-of-the-art library, and then we’re going to tell our moms with kids that have a stack of books to return that they have to feed them into the machine one at a time?!’ That’s crazy.”

TLC and Tech Logic streamlined technology, processes, and workflows for Winter Park Library. “Historically, we had many vendors, and getting each one to talk to the other, getting the systems to think as one, was just not possible,” shared Schneider. “Having these combined companies that work so well together, that don’t have conflicting technology, was really appealing to us.”

With a population of over 30,000 residents, Winter Park is located just north of Orlando, Florida. The single-site library system — about a mile from its previous location — was founded in 1885 and is home to over 121,000 items with an average annual circulation of almost 400,000.

Since opening their new location, Winter Park Library has welcomed a record number of new members and visitors. In an average month in their previous location, the library would have enrolled 185 new members and seen 300 to 500 people per day. In contrast, in just two weeks’ time in the new facility, WPL enrolled over 900 new members and welcomed between 600 to 800 people per day.

For more information on partnering with TLC and Tech Logic for your library’s upcoming, large-scale service remodel or building renovation, please reach out at info@TLCdelivers.com.

About The Library Corporation
TLC has operated continuously under the same ownership since 1974 and employs over 200 people dedicated to delivering enterprise software and hardware solutions to public, school, academic, and special libraries worldwide. TLC’s cumulative products are deployed in more than 1,100 organizations, representing over 5,500 locations in North America and worldwide. TLC is certified by the U.S. General Services Administration, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. TLC’s Headquarters is based in Inwood, W.Va., and has additional offices in Colorado, Minnesota, and Singapore.

About Tech Logic
For 25 years, Tech Logic has been the leading provider of innovative sorting technologies, circulation staff support tools, and patron self-service solutions for public and institutional libraries throughout North America. With hundreds of customers worldwide, Tech Logic promises to deliver the most thoughtful approach to the automation technology issues facing your library today.  Tech Logic is proud to design, manufacture, build and support our solutions from our headquarters in Oakdale, Minnesota.

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