Dudley Library Service has been shortlisted in the e-Government National Awards 2009, for its RFID self-service project. The highly sought-after awards recognise excellence across eleven categories, highlighting the UK’s top public sector innovators in the use of technology, enabling businesses and citizens to better communicate with councils, central government, NHS and other public sector organisations. UK Government CIO John Suffolk will reveal the winners on 20th January at a Ministerial dinner at the City of London’s Guildhall.
The borough’s ICT department nominated the library service for its self-service library provision which uses Axiell’s RFID technology to enable a new service model. Five under-performing libraries were housed in older, unfit for purpose buildings and together contributed only 6% of issues and 5% of visits. The ‘Library Links’ initiative replaced these with a new service model providing a tailored library service, delivered in partnership with other organisations and based within four existing well-used public or community buildings. Dudley chose Axiell’s unique RFID solution for libraries, which works well together with Dudley’s library management system, OpenGalaxy, also supplied by Axiell. Axiell is the market leader in business solutions for UK public libraries and archives and part of the Axiell Library Group AB.
RFID technology made Dudley’s new service model possible by enabling:
1. A total of 723 staffed opening hours per week across the borough’s libraries (an increase of 50.5 hours).
2. Library Links available for 111 hours per week in total.
3. Customer-friendly self-service for borrowing, renewing and returning books.
4. Improved stock management and usage monitoring to maintain the tailored service provided at each location.
5. A modern interface between the library and its users.
John Suffolk, the Government’s Chief Information Officer, says: “Every year these Awards continue to get better and better and tougher to select the winners out of many hundreds of top quality entries. The sheer innovation, passion for citizen service and pride with which the teams have executed their projects makes me hugely proud, and humble, to be in IT within the Public Sector.”