The organisational structure of libraries will be changing virtually everywhere in the world over the next few years. The effect of digitisation and budget cuts are resulting in role changes which means that there is a need to work ever more efficiently and time-consciously.
Firstly, the role of the librarian is changing. There are constantly new services and products whereby greater demands are made of the back office. The front office’s workload is increasing because it needs to offer a new range of services. An example of this is the growing need for information amongst users, schools and even universities who can by no means find all the information they require on the Internet. An additional problem facing libraries is that they can no longer cope without volunteers. For example, in the Netherlands 92% of libraries ‘employ’ volunteers. In some libraries they make up 60% or more of the workforce. Although these people are often offered training, they still make considerable demands on permanent employees’ time.
The new Topaz RFID reader with SearchLib® software can greatly ease the burden on both permanent and voluntary staff. This device allows rapid searching for books and effortless and fast stock-taking. Lost books can easily be found using the ‘radar’ function (RFID). The timesaving significant, so that more attention can be paid to new developments in the sector. There is also an immediate cost-saving element: lost books can be found easily thanks to this handy instrument, that will be essential for every library in the future.