Ergonomic, sustainable and contemporary: new technology at Public Library Bayreuth
When the Public Library Bayreuth chose the RFID technology for booking, returning and sorting its media eleven years ago, it was undoubtedly considered a pioneer and innovative trendsetter. In order to maintain this innovative approach RW21 is now renewing its system as well as the self-service kiosks with the very latest technology. This time, the focus is on sustainability, ergonomics, efficient and accelerated processes.
"Library technologies are continuously developing, and our technology was simply getting on in years. Unfortunately, we felt the effects of this again and again in our daily operations. So, it was time for a modernisation. The new system should not only be expandable in the long term, but also more ergonomic," explains Jörg Weinreich, library director of the Public Library Bayreuth RW21.
"Accessibility, inclusion and sustainability are central to the development of our software and hardware. We are pleased that these share an equally high priority for Bayreuth," adds Markus Rösch, Managing Director at Nexbib.
"We were immediately impressed by the delivery of the equipment in recyclable, wooden transport boxes," remarks Jörg Weinreich. "In record time, Nexbib exchanged and updated our check-out and return portal as well as the complete sorting system. The cooperation between our teams was great in every respect."
The human being as the yardstick
Since July, the people of Bayreuth have been able to use two slim self-service kiosks for their account management and media lending. The name of the devices, Nex.Kiosk Nordic, says it all: Not only does the FSC® and PEFC certified wood for the shelves come from Sweden, but also the complete design.
Items can be returned at two new return portals in the foyer from five in the morning until midnight. The library is therefore able to cope with the high number of returns. Four sorting destinations have been set up on the Nex.Sort system, for each of the four floors.
A special highlight is the height-adjustable staff return station, which is directly connected to the sorting system. The team can smoothly move this station electronically to the appropriate height in order to return and pre-sort items in large quantities in a way that is easy on the back. "People as the yardstick" is the motto of the public library. This not only means that it "aligns its work with basic democratic and social principles and is guided by a humanistic image of man", but also that ergonomics and accessibility for staff play a central role in the design of the working environment. In January 2021, RW21 was even awarded the "Bavaria barrier-free" signet. "The topic of accessibility is understood by the staff at RW21 as a process, not a state, and is therefore constantly on the agenda," comments Jörg Weinreich.
The idea of the Third Place at RW21 clearly goes beyond a mere feel-good atmosphere and low-threshold, non-commercial offers. A huge network and collaboration, e.g., with the Adult Education Centre, the Social Welfare Office, the Lesecafé 21, local schools and the food sharing association contribute to a comprehensive sustainability strategy and position the city library as a community-oriented, modern educational centre and meeting place for the entire community. Up-to-date and reliable library technology facilitates and accelerates everyday processes for the library team as well as for the visitors. This creates the necessary freedom to ensure the diversity and scope of this commitment.
Facts and figures about Public Library Bayreuth
In 2020, Bayreuth Public Library recorded almost 8,000 active users and almost 155,000 visits. Before the pandemic, there were even twice as many. In total, it provides around 122,000 physical and over 68,000 e-media. Between 400,000 to 500,000 loans are recorded each year. The trend is upwards. In 2021, the municipal library turned 100 years old and RW21 celebrated its tenth anniversary.
More at Public Library Bayreuth.