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fairly modern-looking.

The return system operates by reading the barcode label on the outside of the book, while removing the item from the borrower’s record and sight, as the book is placed on a conveyor belt for manual sorting. The unit has an excellent graphical user interface (G !", which uses full motion video se#uences rather than $%& interface graphics to illustrate step-by-step instructions. %ther standard features include security checks on items handled (it can only be integrated with 'lescon’s own security systems" and the function of placing reserved items to one side for sorting. 'lescon are confident that approximately () per cent of library stock can be handled by the system. 'lescon have *ust introduced a new range called +wik-!ssue. The product range includes the following models, • • • BTJ The T%0-!1 system is produced by a &weedish firm 2 3T/ (4" systems 2 and disrtributed in + by $on Gresswell 5imited ('eterson, 6778". T%0-!1 has the distictincion of being the first self-return machine to handle and sort returned books by a robotic arm. !t is because of T%0-!1’s sorting feature that the machine has to be housed in a separate room, in order to prevent accidents and to decrease the noise generated by the robot (/akobsen, 6778". The system works by placing the item to be returned on to conveyor belt, which moves the book past a scanner that reads the barcode and activates the security tag. The borrower’s record is then updated and a receipt is printed. !n addition to 3T/’s main return unit, another system, T%0-% T, deals with library issues. T%09% T has a similar function to other issues units on the market. The system’s only distinguishing feature is the is the placement of the book, which is inserted into a slot rather than placed on a platform. -rom here, the -reestanding. /unior (designed for children and disabled person". and $esktop.

&ome libraries use self-service as a way of extending service hours without having to increase staffing although ancillary staff are generally employed to cover security. &elf service is often seen as a way of providing a high level service with limited staff resources and can be invaluable at busy times or when counter staff are ill. borrowers record updating and receipt printing. as in the case of academic libraries and the growing numbers of new media such :$-0%. ?vidence suggests that the introduction of self service can reduce the number incident of >0 5$s particularly for staff solely employed in counter work (. !t is vital for both academic and public . • Long queues at issue desks. &elf service machines can reduce the length of #ueues at issue desks caused by the increase in student numbers. 3enefits and opportunities &elf-service has been seen by many commentors as one of the answers to a number of problems being faced by libraries in all sectors. • Reduced budgets that can lead to cutbacks in service hours and staffing levels. 677@".orris and $yer. This is also known as <work related upper limb disorder= (>0 5$" among library staff. videos and :$s which take much longer to issue to users.s. • Increased incidence of repetitive strain injury (R I!. • The need to "aintain co"petitiveness.system undergoes the common operation of security checks. 0&! or >0 5$ is caused by limbs exposed to repetitive strain such as the process involved in the shelving of heavy books and the issuing and returning of library material.

where necessary. even though most self-self machine is compatible with library security systems. nfortunately. costs. security. reduce #ueues. is also not included and can be #uite substantial (barcodes will be examined in more depth later". %b*ectives can be to handle a certain percentage of stock. . The costs of re-barcoding stock. functionality and design of systems. and offer an out-of hours service and so on. 3orrowers security has also been identified as a possible problem area. location of e#uipment. save money. &ecurity The basic principle of self service is trust because there are no staffs present to overview the operation and to check that there is no misuse.?valuation The factors that have to be taken into consideration when deciding to implement selfservices include ob*ectives. and the effect on users and staff. security has become a problem. reduce pressure on staff. %nly if the ob*ectives are clear can the success or otherwise of the implementation be determined. :osts Blthough prices have dropped since the first model was introduced the limited competition has ensured that the cost of self-service machine and return systems remains high. %b*ectives !t is important to be clear about the ob*ectives for implementation of self machineAreturn systems at the outset. The cost of publicity is another factor that needs to be considered.

B number of measures have since been introduced to prevent this reoccurring. The photocopied barcode was then laid across the top of another book. enabling the unit to record the transaction of the photocopied barcode. while simultaneously. This allowed the user to leave the library with a book that was not on their card and was not regarded by the system as being on loan. desensitiCing the covered book.3arcode fraud The niversity of :entral 5ancashire had a number of problems with barcode frauds which were serious enough to have the system withdrawn. The problem lay with a small numbers of students by photocopying the barcode of a book that was not in high demand. these include placing a specially designed tape across the barcode to prevent photocopying .