A BRIDGE OVER THE DIGITAL DIVIDE? OUTREACHERS, FLOOR-WALKERS & MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
A central tenet in the development of Axiell Spark was giving libraries the full functionality of the library management system wherever they are, in the library or out in the community.
This is now being realised and with yet more studies highlighting the importance libraries play in reaching the vulnerable in our society, tools like Spark have never been more important.
David Walters, ICT & Facilities Manager with Tower Hamlets Idea Stores, says that Spark will mean that staff can do everything on the move:
“Within a year staff will be working in a completely different way.”
Spark delivers real value to branches and will help shape the library of the future.
Like many services, Tower Hamlets do not want to see staff “tied to the desk doing mundane transactions”. Being cloud-based, Spark can be used on any device with an internet connection. David says that, because of this, ‘floor-walkers’ will be able to “provide better information and promote services wherever patrons are and to act on the responses”.
During the Summer Reading Challenge, Spark is delivering real improvements in efficiency at Tower Hamlets. Taking a laptop into the children’s reading area to update details, rather than pen and paper, has meant that staff aren’t having to input data two or sometimes even three times, as before.
Spark’s simple to use interface means staff require less training, improving efficiency further.
IN THE COMMUNITY:
A fifth of adults in the UK have never been online. It’s an astonishing figure but one that will come as no surprise to library staff. Studies, such as the one conducted by Go On UK last year, suggest that it is the most vulnerable in our society who suffer the most.
Digital exclusion charity, Tinder Foundation state that libraries are “key” to tackling this issue and that mobile technology is necessary part of this: “Mobile equipment is needed to deliver outreach sessions, and engage older or more vulnerable groups.”
And Spark can help libraries achieve this.
David says that Spark will see staff able to take the “full power of the LMS” in to people’s homes. For example, whilst visiting those who can’t get to the branch, they will be able to sign people up to the library, review the account and reserve/renew items.
What’s more, with running and attending events all around the area, they will be able to take the tablets to engage with the community and bring them in to the library.
To find out how Spark can help your service or for an information pack, drop us a message here.