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Improvements OK'd for library
Two to get central desk, RFID tags
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Forsyth County News


Two branches of the Forsyth County Public Library will get some updates in the coming months.

Library board members voted 4-0 on Tuesday to convert Cumming and Sharon Forks libraries to one-service-desk models and install electronic identification tags for materials.

Both changes are aimed at improving efficiency and customer service, director Jon McDaniel said.

Consolidating to one desk that handles both circulation and information will require fewer staff members with more diverse duties, McDaniel said.

“It will [also] be one-stop shopping for the patron,” he said.

The radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags allow library users to check out multiple materials at one time, and the employees to check in many at once by scanning all the items together.

The technology, already in place at Hampton Park library, has increased the number of patrons using the self-checkout rather than requiring the assistance of a staff member, McDaniel said.

The library will expand the current software and system for RFID tags at the Hampton Park to the other branches.

“For Cumming and Sharon Forks to be totally RFID, I think we can have them both up and running by spring,” he said.

The conversion will cost about $60,000, McDaniel said, but it’s also expected to continue lowered personnel expenses by allowing current vacancies to remain unfilled.

Consolidating to a one-desk model at the two branches will cost about $16,000.

Funding will come from the library’s reserves.

The two projects could require the facilities to close for installation, McDaniel said, but the library will aim to complete the work on holidays or non-peak days sometime at the start of 2012.

Board member Kristin Morrissey commended the staff for its work toward continually improving efficiency.

“The library is on the forefront of finding new ways to make reductions [in costs], while at the same time improving customer service,” she said.