James Breakell, UK Managing Director of D-Tech International, looks at the key areas for potential improvements to ensure your library is accessible and safe for students around the clock.
Oxford Brookes University came under fire in December for closing its facilities, including the library, following heavy snowfall. Whilst the university defended its position on the grounds of health and safety, many of the disgruntled students took to social media to air their opinions, often referring to the fees they have paid and entitlement to use facilities.
I am confident that Oxford Brookes’ decision was made with the best interests of staff and students in mind, but it does raise the question of how much more can be done to ensure paying students have access to the resources they need to achieve their best results.
With work and other commitments, it is understandable that many students require the use of library facilities outside of the traditional core working day. We don’t live in a 9-5 world anymore, and as such, we need to equip our libraries with the technology that facilitates 24/7 access.
If you are opening your library all day, every day, security needs to be at the forefront of your mind: Security for your stock, equipment, fixtures and fittings, and above all, for your patrons. Some universities have security personnel based in the library out of staffed service hours, some incorporate the library in general security patrols, and others rely on CCTV and people counters to monitor and access the need for staff attendance.
However you choose to maintain a safe and secure environment that meets the needs of your students and provides a 24/7 learning resource, the following technology will support your provision:
· Controlled access/egress using library card
· RFID security gates
· Self-service units borrowing and returning
· Chip and PIN payment facilities
· Laptop loaning/storage/charging cabinets
· People counter
· Automated dispensing machine for reserved items
D-Tech International designs, develops and manufactures high-performance RFID products and library security systems. We provide installation and customer service for our full range of products. If you are looking to increase the opening hours of your library, or require assistance improving your current system, we’re always happy to answer your questions so visit our website or call us on 01394 420077.