Alphabytes V9N5 :: Lake Geneva Public Library 2020-09-11T12:54:46+00:00

RFID and Self-service Make for Smooth Sailing at Lake Geneva Public Library

When it comes to beauty, it’s hard to find a spot as idyllic as Lake Geneva Public Library in Wisconsin. The library was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Lake Geneva Public Library

protégé James Dresser and is situated to provide patrons with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding landscape. The Library holds a special place in this small, lakeside community, but it’s not just about the setting. Director Emily Kornak and her team are constantly looking for ways to make the community experience the best that it can be.

X11 Kiosk at Lake Geneva Public Library
A few years ago, the library installed RFID and self-checkout to help streamline service. Lake Geneva was already an EnvisionWare computer and print management customer, so the team was familiar and comfortable with EnvisionWare’s reliability and responsiveness. Over 60,000 items were tagged in partnership with Backstage Library Works and EnvisionWare’s RFID software and hardware was installed, along with security gates. As part of

the RFID project, Lake Geneva also installed two RFID-enabled self-service checkout stations with EnvisionWare’s X11 kiosks and OneStop™ software.

The Lake Geneva team recognized the benefits of RFID and self-service right away. Within a few months of installation about 25% of checkouts were happening on the kiosks, making the overall patron experience faster either at the desk or by using the machines. Self-checkout stations also provided patrons with a more private option for checking out materials than a staff-assisted option.

RFID also enabled staff to scan sections of the collection at a time much more quickly than scanning barcodes, making it faster to process inventory and freeing-up staff time to assist in other areas.

Today, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, Lake Geneva relies on RFID and self-service more than ever. These services help to minimize face-to-face interactions between staff and patrons and
RFID at Lake Geneva Public Library

provide a socially distanced way for patrons to still enjoy the library.

“With COVID-19, we are quarantining returned materials for a minimum of 4 days,” says Kornak. “This means our returns accumulate pretty quickly and staff need to process returns daily in bulk, all at once, versus checking in returns over the course of a day as we did previously. RFID allows us to do this much more efficiently. Every time-saving measure we can use for processing our daily returns coming out of quarantine and coming in through transit helps.”

“Limiting face-to-face contact also is critical when trying to keep staff and community safe. EnvisionWare’s equipment has been extremely reliable and customer service very responsive, even remotely, so we haven’t had to have EnvisionWare staff inside the building for any maintenance or troubleshooting,” Kornak adds. “We installed RFID and self-service checkout before the pandemic to provide better service. We’re really glad we can count on it now.”