Magazine article American Libraries

Save Staff Time: New Labor-Saving Services

Magazine article American Libraries

Save Staff Time: New Labor-Saving Services

Article excerpt

Staff time is a valuable resource, and automating certain tasks can allow staff members to focus on tasks that need a human touch. Automatic book sorting and self-checkout are not new ideas, but innovations in these areas continue, providing new ways for libraries to maximize their return on donated and discarded books, minimize the footprint of self-checkout, and maintain their collections--and save staff time.

ValueIT

Selling donated and weeded materials can be an important revenue stream for libraries, but it is often limited by the staff or volunteer time required to properly sort, price, and sell items. Tech Logic's new ValuelT software automates the process of sorting and pricing donated and discarded books, turning a new or existing automated system for handling materials into a part-time book sale volunteer.

After the system scans a book's barcode, the software queries a copy of Amazon's book pricing database--updated twice daily--to determine its value. Based on a library's parameters, high-value books can be boxed and shipped to Amazon for sale online through an account owned by the library or Friends group, allowing for a quick return on the book. When materials are sold online, Amazon deducts all shipping, handling, and fees and deposits the proceeds directly into the library's or Friends' account.

The ValueIT software also monitors and adjusts the price of books being sold online to keep them competitive, maximizing the return on used materials. They are priced so that 50% of library materials will sell within 30 days, and 90% will sell over the life of the listing.

Tech Logic can assist in the setup of ValuelT processing. The specific sorting equipment configuration and purchase price depend on library requirements. The equipment may be purchased outright or leased, with payment built into the software commission fee.

More information on ValueIT is available at tech-logic. …

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