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Konya Provincial Public Library

Future Proofing a Turkish Cultural Institution

Konya Provincial Public Library

As part of an extensive Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism Council scheme, the Konya Provincial Public Library building, (originally known as the ‘National Library’) was designed as a ground breaking new structure for Turkish culture. With four storeys and an archive of more than 100,000 items, the library has emerged as one of Turkey’s most important cultural facilities. 

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The Challenge

barcode and HF (high frequency) technologies used in the old building had historically been slow and cumbersome which proved problematic when inventories were due. The RFID system was also limited in its ability to provide full book descriptions via the individual book labels. The book stock, counting and processing cycle was limited to weekly periods so the library management team started to look for an alternative solution for quicker and more consistent inventory checks.

The Solution

Teknopalas, one of Zebra's independent software development partners, developed the world’s first UHF RFID library-management system (Medaris® RFID) using Zebra’s global technological infrastructure. The system offers a fast, secure and consistent service for the tracking and placement of books, and the automatic checking in and out of library transactions, using Zebra’s RZ400™ printers.

The system ensures rapid location of books through local search of the regular inventory, with secure ‘loan and return’ transactions recorded to avoid misplacement of individual books. The system also enables rapid reporting on the frequency with which books are used, photocopied, loaned and returned.

The solution enabled the Konya Provincial Public Library to migrate to an upgraded system in just 3 weeks, and as a ‘plug and play’ package the Medaris® RFID library automation system was operational after only one week. During the three week period that followed, all the library’s books had been labelled by its staff, following rapid and comprehensive training in the new system. The typical migration period of around six to eight weeks for similar systems had been reduced to just one month.

The IT Manager at Konya Provincial Public Library sees the value of the new system in freeing up time for more valuable work:

  “Thanks to the new system, instead of managing books individually, our librarians can now spend time on their real job of managing and promoting the library’s collection. This can now be done in a rapid, secure and consistent manner that sets an example for librarianship, not only in Turkey but worldwide". 

The Results

  • The new system is a strong alternative to traditional barcode and HF, being 10 times faster and therefore more productive.
  • The migration has led to a 50% saving in time and consumables against the previous system, and a two-fold productivity increase.
  • Counting, tracking, placement and automatic checking in/out of books is now managed in a rapid, secure and consistent manner.
  • Transactions relating to the return and borrowing of books are carried out securely, and books are no longer placed in the wrong location.
  • Library transactions are performed with an error rate of almost zero, which also minimises user errors.
  • It used to take staff many hours to count just tens of books manually. Now the new system allows 1000's of books to be counted in just a few minutes.
  • The details for e ach book are not only recorded on RFID chips but can also be printed on a label using Zebra’s RFID printers.
  • The system can rapidly report on the frequency and duration of book loans, photocopying and borrowing history.
  • Using the new system's local search module, specific books are rapidly and easily located. Book searches that used to take hours are now reduced to minutes.
  • Statistics are generated automatically for all books taken from the library, with or without permission.
  • It takes only 2.3 seconds to access the data for every book on the library’s shelves.
  • The new system shows more information on a book without the book having to be removed from the shelf.