William B. Meyer, Inc. Library Relocation Services: “Technology and the Library Move: An Opportunity Not to be Missed!
10 May

William B. Meyer, Inc. Library Relocation Services: “Technology and the Library Move: An Opportunity Not to be Missed!

Proprietary technology from William B. Meyer provides library personnel with complete control over any relocation or transition, regardless of size.

In a world dominated by technology; where more people know about hard drives than hard covers – libraries are carving out a new niche in their communities. Serving as public hot spots, where people ‘plug-in’ and socialize, it seems only fitting that technology is employed to keep a library running smoothly – even in times of disruption.
In this ever-changing economy, libraries are being challenged with the necessity of renovating, moving to a different location, or putting materials into storage…either at their own facility or at a commercial storage facility…where access is still required, but on a less frequent basis. More and more, libraries need to rely on their relocation partners to offer solutions which will not only get them through their short-term project, but prepare them also for longer term requirements.

Often the traditional method of tracking inventories before, during, and after a move is paper-based; physical print-outs from the library database being the only control mechanism. Unfortunately this provides little in the way of support in the case of missing or mis-shelved volumes, efficiently locating and retrieving those that may be in temporary or permanent storage, or providing detailed information on inventory in the case of branch openings, sales, or international shipments.

Library relocation specialists need to be prepared to utilize different technologies not only ensure the safe physical move of inventory, but also to provide the library with whom they are working full control and information through each stage of the project at a minimum, and after project completion if at all possible.

An example of one such technology solution has been developed by William B. Meyer, Inc., a premier library relocation specialist. Making use of hand-held scanners and a software interface customized to handle requirements specific to each project, each program is designed with a user-friendly interface providing library personnel with complete control over any transition regardless of size. Volumes are tracked throughout every aspect of a move, they are matched against existing library database records, and their location is accurately recorded and reflected at all times.

Scanner Technology

Hand-held scanners capture all pertinent information enabling full accountability for all inventory throughout all project phases

Applications clearly made possible through the use of technology solutions such as these are apparent for almost all project specifications:

  1. Moving material into storage (either at your own facility or into commercial storage): by scanning materials at a shelf level, a validation file can be generated for use in updating the Library’s ILS as to which books will be in transit before they actually leave the premises. This will allow you to establish complete accountability from the time the material leaves the shelf to when it is finally located in a storage facility.
  2. Setting up a warehouse locator system – Based on library space limitations, many academic institutions are faced with the need to create offsite storage locations to house low-use materials. Typically materials will be shelved at the storage site in call order. This system proves workable until a large deposit of material needs to be added to the stored collection at which point tedious interfiling is required to maintain shelf order. Further, as the storage facility begins to reach capacity, labor-intensive shifting becomes necessary to create enough shelf space to interfile. An inventory locator system offered by William B. Meyer has successfully been used to offer a lower cost-alternative by coupling their technology solution with a high-density storage model, allowing for an increase in shelving capacity of up to 40% and eliminating the need to ever interfile or shift collections. The model makes use of size-based shelf elevations where volumes are scanned to specific locations, enabling materials to be shelved randomly by size, without sacrificing quick and efficient retrieval.
  3. Detailed inventory listing requirements: Detailed inventories often need to be generated for customs requirements related to international moving, or if certain collections are sold. In situations such as these where accountability is of principal concern, it important that your relocation specialist utilize the latest technology to generate customized reports including any selected data associated with a particular bar-coded item.
  4. Opening Day Collections – When anticipating the delivery of a labeled and bar-coded opening day collection, the delivery verification process can be simplified by scanning each item as it is unpacked from its shipping container. At the conclusion of the process, validation files can then be generated which will identify all items that were received and an exceptions list of items that were not received.

Change is always difficult, but when approached with the right view – it can provide endless opportunities for growth and improvement. Let your move open doors for you. Use it to market the new innovations you are adopting, and the benefits of the relocation. Not every mover can move a library and help you successfully take advantage of these opportunities. Be selective and find someone who can.

Look for a specialist who will consult with you pre-move to identify cost saving alternatives, determine your scope and timeline, and develop a detailed relocation plan. Perhaps more importantly, your moving specialist should be able to work with your staff to help them adapt to the process. They should be readily available before, during and after to guarantee all expectations are met. Finally, the specialist you choose should be up to date with the latest tools available. Moving is hard enough, make sure you’re not missing any pieces that could help facilitate the process!
In today’s world, microwave meals take too long, and people are used to information being instantly available. By choosing a mover that offers innovative, high tech solutions, your patrons will recognize and appreciate the efficiency with which you have managed their library’s transition. Keep your edge by knowing what’s out there and taking advantage of every resource available.

You can also read the article at Libraryworks.com

(May 2010) ©LibraryScope

 

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