The Principal launched a new self-issue service, as well as other service enhancements, at an event held on Friday 13 September.
The new system is associated with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology which enables library users to borrow and return items at any time that the library is open. This should be of great benefit to those studying during the 24/7 opening times and will also help to minimise queuing at busy daytime periods.
RFID tags have been inserted into every borrowable item. The new self-service kiosks will read the borrowers library card and associate it with their account. Items can similarly be returned via the same machines, and other account details can be checked at the same time.
Associated with the self-issue and RFID project has been the development of chip-enabled library cards. Students are now being issued with chip-enabled ID cards at enrolment and the University is looking at developing their use in other areas, for example in secure door-entry systems (e.g. at the Sports Centre) and paying for goods and services.
New Service Desk
In addition to these changes the Library now has opened one Consolidated Service Desk. This replaces the four previously separate service points. This is to reduce confusion for library users and demonstrates the more integrated nature of the formerly separate Library and IT departments. The Service Desk is now the first point of face-to-face contact for all Information Services or library-related enquiries.
Wendy Pirie, Head of Academic and Learner Services, commented, "We have made many improvements to the Library over the summer period. In addition to the new self-issue service and service desk we have also made improvements to the space on the first floor, creating 56 additional student spaces. Our aim is to increase study space by up to 10% each year for the next few years and to modernise and enhance the existing infrastructure as far as possible.
"We are committed to providing the optimum learning and study space for our students and will continue to develop and improve our services to achieve this."