School budgets are under constant pressure and despite evidence of a decline in literacy across the UK showing that rates of teenage literacy in England are lower than those of other OECD nations, the school library’s resources are often first to be decimated. That may be because, at the time of writing, it is not a statutory requirement to provide a school library, so it is viewed as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have’ by some. James Breakell, UK MD of D-Tech International looks at ways library technology can save your school money.
No-one is denying that access to information and learning resources are at an unprecedented level, but how will children learn to read that information, research successfully and navigate the minefield of data to gather genuine facts if they have not learned the basics? Anyone involved in the delivery of education knows that access to a school library is one of the best ways to hone those skills and can be introduced at a very early age.
If your school is looking to save money, whilst still providing an excellent library service to your pupils, I would recommend carrying out a library audit:
· How much money is your library losing?
Whatever size your school library is, losing books has a significant negative effect on your resources. Whether those books are going missing through a lack of comprehension of the loan process or conscious misappropriation of school property, it still costs time and money to replace them.
· How could you justify the installation of security gates?
You may be pleasantly surprised at the rapid ROI security gates provide! If you are losing books regularly, or your staff are busy assisting students with library enquiries, being alerted when anyone attempts to remove an item without checking it out can save you a significant amount of money.
· How can you maximise efficiency without spending a fortune?
Depending on the size of your library a self-service checkout may be beneficial, allowing more efficient use of staff resources, but even a librarian operated staff pad enables multi-checkout and saves time and effort. Preventing losses and working smarter are both key objectives for school libraries working under limited budgets.
· What’s the durability of library technology?
If you are investing in any sort of technology for your school, you need to know that it is compatible with current equipment and software and that it is not going to be defunct within a short space of time after installation. Research providers carefully, and ask the right questions. If they can’t guarantee a smooth integration and a reasonable lifespan of products, then move on!
D-Tech provides industry-leading, innovative technologies and products to enhance your library services, and optimise your efficiency. What sets us apart from many of our competitors is our competitive pricing and our exemplary customer care. If you would benefit from some industry advice as to how library technology can help your school to save money give us a call on 01394420077 or visit www.d-techinternational.com