D-Tech has recently completed an RFID installation at St. Anne’s College, which has one of the largest Oxford College libraries. The original library was built in 1937 and is located in the Grade II-listed Hartland House, but as the College grew it became evident that the library was too small.
The new building, designed by Fletcher Priest Architects, provides a range of study and seminar spaces, rooms for research centres and outreach activities, as well as 1,500 metres of bookshelves for the growing collection of books. The library adds around 2,000 new books to its collection every year. The original library remains fully functional, and the new construction complements it architecturally and operationally. Built in local limestone and boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, the new library also provides students with green spaces in the form of both a roof and a sunken garden.
St Anne’s College Library is open to all members and associates of St Anne’s College. It is one of the largest college libraries in Oxford in terms of current stock, containing over 100,000 volumes. With the original library located in Hartland House and the new
library situated in a separate building, it was important to find a solution that was not geographically restrictive and works simultaneously across both sites. As both libraries are open to students 24 hours a day, it is important that they have reliable equipment installed to facilitate self-issue and ensure security, along with ongoing service and repair support should any problems arise.
This has been an ongoing project, as we initially installed part of the solution in St Anne’s existing building and supplied a tagging team to RFID tag and process all the loanable stock – 84,220 items, to be precise. We then rolled-out further equipment into the new library when it was completed. The College intends to install a final set of equipment at some point in the future when the old library is refurbished allowing an additional entrance to be opened.
Expanded services – more access
Improved services – flexibility and convenience
Increased security – RFID tagging
Clare White, St Anne’s College Librarian, says: “Prior to work starting on the new building we had a self-issue machine, but we didn’t have security gates. With the library about to be split across two sites we needed to ensure that our collections would be protected at times when the library staff were not present and that our students could borrow from both libraries 24/7. The D-Tech installation enables us to achieve both of these requirements. We selected D-Tech for their competitive pricing and willingness to work with us in installing the equipment in stages throughout our building project.
“We have been very happy with the service we have received. D-Tech supplied a team who spent a fortnight applying RFID tags to our extensive stock in the lead up to the initial installation, and now we self-tag any new items. We find D-Tech to be very flexible in its approach; for example, as is often the case with new-builds, the construction completion date was set back, and D-Tech held onto the equipment until the time was right for us to complete the installation. They also liaised with our building contractors to ensure that the correct cabling for the security gates was installed as part of the build to avoid disruption at a later stage. We have found them to be very responsive as far as any support issues are concerned and would definitely recommend D-Tech to other similar libraries.”