The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest Hospital Trusts in England, with three hospitals, chest clinic and satellite units to enable people to be treated closer to home. They are served by three Education Centres with libraries based at the Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital. To over 11,000 members of staff the Education Centres are vital resources. With continual change and advancement in medical knowledge the staff, including doctors, graduates and undergraduates need fast access to the latest information. For the librarians this means constant stock updating and assured access to the media 24/7.
Meeting the challenge
To meet the challenge of maintaining a current knowledge base the outreach librarian, Preeti Puligari visits staff on the various sites to ascertain what resources are needed, and what format would deliver the best results. Using their library card staff can access, borrow and return at any of the three, cctv monitored libraries 24/7
Because access is needed 24/7 the three libraries have been using self-service technology for some time but had been experiencing some problems. Unfortunately their supplier was winding down support for their products and the security gates were not delivering the desired results.
With the end of the financial year approaching Richard Packer, Knowledge Manager was successful in his bid to secure funding to update the library systems. With experience of all leading suppliers Richard was keen to find one with products that promised longevity, had a contemporary look and were backed by comprehensive service support at a sensible price.
“2CQR were able to deliver on all our specific requirements and we were particularly impressed with their commitment to long-term partnerships with their clients.”
With 2CQR chosen for the refit the three Education Centres were to have new self-service kiosks, staff workstations and security gates. The 2CQR Librid software had to work with the open source, Koha Library Management System, and to add more effective security the new security gates included Gate Tracker software.
Richard was impressed with the installation “It went extremely smoothly. The first library took two days to complete which included tagging some products missed by the previous supplier and tweaking the software to integrate with our LMS. With these issues sorted the next two library installations only took half a day each” Richard has been involved in self-service at four NHS trusts and was happy to say this installation and ongoing experience has been the easiest to manage and most successful. “Everyone, our team and 2CQR, worked very well together and I had no reason for criticism at any stage of working with 2CQR”
There have been some staff reductions across the Education Centres making the self-service system a more valuable and heavily used facility. But, after over nine months of using the new system there only seems to be positives. All elements of the system are working well and have received approval from both library and hospital staff. The Gate Tracker software, which triggers an alarm if users forget to check out, has helped with book loss. It is particularly useful when users are carrying a number of books as it highlights the books not checked out on the librarian’s pc.
Richard is pleased with both the way the system works and the lack of negative feedback.
“The intuitive software makes it easy and fast for users and so far there have been no complaints. Even the style and colour scheme of the kiosks has met with approval as it suits the modern, stylish and functional environment of the Education Centres”