Bridge - Delivering self-service transactions in libraries

Delivering self-service transactions in libraries

Now more than ever, libraries throughout both the education and public sectors are looking for ways to make savings while maintaining and improving the service provided to customers. Self-service systems and other devices that communicate with the library management system (LMS) using Bridge will give you both cost savings and service improvement.

When installed at libraries, self-service machines enable your customers to borrow and return items, check their account and make payments quickly and easily. Other machines can sort returned items into library specified categories, speeding up re-shelving.

Self-service machines operate without staff intervention enabling a 24/7 service if required. Staff who previously spent most of their time issuing and discharging items can be redeployed to other duties.

Capita’s Bridge application has been giving libraries the ability to connect self-service units to the LMS since 1995, when self-issue was the only option available. Bridge has been steadily developing, as more self-service suppliers have joined the market and the range of services they provide has increased. New devices such as the Radio-frequency identification (RFID) accessions tunnel, which automatically receipts and pays for items in bulk, are enabling libraries to streamline back office activities, reaping benefits from staff efficiencies and cost savings.

Capita provides two versions of Bridge: Bridge Lite and Bridge Pro.

Bridge Lite enables libraries to integrate the LMS with self-service devices, supporting core library functions such as issues, returns and payment handling.

Bridge Pro offers a number of additional features, including offline operation, support for sorters and accessions tunnels and management information reports. The offline operation function allows a self-service machine to continue working even if it loses its connection to the LMS.