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staffCIRC TRAK finds thousands of missing items for Sarasota County Libraries

March 8, 2022

“Our ‘Missing’ report has gone from a system-wide printed report of thousands of items before staffCIRC TRAK to the current 12 items missing system-wide,” said Andrea Taylor, Technology Coordinator for Sarasota County Libraries (FL). “That’s real savings when we can locate missing materials anywhere on our shelves.”

Taylor first experimented with a single staffCIRC TRAK wand for collection scanning. Convinced of its benefits to dramatically change shelf management, the library purchased three wands shared across its ten branches, then added a wand for every branch. The intention was not to conduct inventories, but rather to scan shelves for exception statuses in order to keep the catalog clean.

Better than uploading inventory lists

staffCIRC TRAK connects via WiFi to the library’s ILS and sends rapid item status requests via SIP2 to the ILS as shelves are scanned. In real time, the staffCIRC TRAK identifies any materials with exception statuses like, for example: checked out, in transit, claim returned, lost, missing, or on hold.

When staffCIRC TRAK detects a shelved item in an exception status, it alerts the operator so the item can be removed and resolved.

During Sarasota’s COVID protocols for materials quarantine, materials were no longer processed to fill holds on their totalAMH automated materials sorting systems.  Following a manual check-in, the materials were double-checked with staffCIRC TRAK to insure that all check-ins and holds had been processed.

Sarasota branch staff especially like the mobility of a battery-powered scanner and ease of use. They scan for exceptions, for items cancelled from the hold shelf, and scan book trucks before shelving to catch anything still checked out.

staffCIRC TRAK helps insure faith in the accuracy of the circulation system—and dramatically reduces the number of shelf checks for claim returned items.

Making the most of RFID technology

Sarasota County Libraries was an original early adopter of RFID in libraries before the ISO tag standard was in general use. The library ended up replacing its early non-standard RFID tags using a previous staffCIRC TRAK model to identify the non-ISO tags at the shelves. Moving to the ISO standard tags made staffCIRC TRAK and automated materials handling with the Tech Logic totalAMH feasible.

Sarasota Library director Renee Di Pilato commended her staff for their adoption of staffCIRC TRAK to improve patron services. “Using staffCIRC TRAK has meant savings when we find missing materials and avoids unnecessary lost item patron billing with proactive problem resolution.”

Taylor added that “scanning book trucks before shelving was a surprising benefit of the wands. We are also finding ways to extend staffCIRC TRAK to assist with weeding and managing the collection. All our libraries have given an enthusiastic thumbs up to using Tech Logic’s staffCIRC TRAK magic wands.”

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.