Extend your Library services with NovelBranch – a mini-library customers can access 24/7.
With a network cable and power outlet, you can provide valuable library services to a large variety of locations including: nursing homes, hospitals, daycares, community centers, airports and more! NovelBranch can facilitate access to a browse and borrow collection that customers check out and in to the kiosk as easily as they would take a book off the shelf and then return it.
Browse & Borrow
It features a sturdy transparent door through which customers can easily view the collection. To open the kiosk door, they scan their card, the door unlocks and they can peruse the shelves as if they were in the Library. The discovery process feels natural and locating the perfect book by serendipity is easy with five shelves of material to choose from.
Items can be returned directly to the shelves where they will be automatically checked in. The process much the same as borrowing; customers scan their card, the door unlocks and they place their items back on the shelves. Returning and Borrowing can happen in same interaction. Receipts can be generated as paper slips or emails, or you can let your ILS sent the receipt if it is set up to do that automatically for circulation transactions.
Holds ready for pick-up can be placed in NovelBranch and the kiosk screen will provide location guidance to customers. It is actually faster and simpler for customers to retrieve their Holds from NovelBranch than it is to do directly from a holds shelf in the Library, because NovelBranch will automatically check the item(s) out.
Oftentimes, libraries when wanting to address needs of under serviced communities feel that holds fulfillment is a service that they should provide, but they do not yet know the extent that the service will be in demand. This is where the flexibility of NovelBranch to support browse-borrow-return AND holds pick-up gives you the choice to vary the content in the kiosk, decreasing and increasing the leisure reading collection and space allocated to holds pick-up as demand varies.
Dedicated Holds Pick-up mode
NovelBranch can now be configured to support holds pick-up ONLY. So, if demand at a remote outreach location has increased such that an additional NovelBranch is needed, it can be configured to support self-service pick up of reserved items only. This mode will prevent cardholders, other than those with material on reserve in the kiosk, from opening the door. Only cardholders authenticated with holds in the kiosk can open the door. This mode is controlled by a software configuration choice. So, if demand for Holds-pick-up decreases, NovelBranch can be re-configured on-the-fly to support all three services operating simultaneously again: Checkout, Check-in and Holds-Pick-up.
While the kiosk is exceptionally intuitive and easy to use, there are onscreen directions to help guide the user. These directions and all text can be provided in different language(s) via a toggle button.
NovelBranch uses RFID technology to track material removed from and returned to the cabinet. It communicates with your ILS through SIP2, ensuring that your circulation information is reflected instantly.
NovelBranch can also become a valued satellite library at remote campus locations for universities, colleges and corporations. Housing unique collections specific to the needs of those locations, it provides access to resources onsite without the need for regular staff or a large space.
Customer Story: University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba selected NovelBranch as a way to decentralize circulation of Course Reserves and facilitate their access within the curriculum specific campus buildings. Starting with a pilot installation, the University has increased the number of kiosks to nine that now support classes from engineering to agriculture to executive management to law.
NovelBranch incorporates RFID technology, making its shelves “smart”. The University Library is not RFID-enabled, but that didn’t limit their decision to implement NovelBranch. Using our RFID Starter Kit which includes staff software, hardware and RFID tags; Technical service staff quickly tag items for the NovelBranch collection, allowing students to seamlessly borrow and return items from the kiosk.
The Library also doesn’t use traditional barcode library cards, but instead magnetic stripe cards. We can support a variety of readers, magstripe among them. However, these often require customized integration work. For this implementation we 3D printed a customized bracket and custom ordered a mounting plate to integrate the reader into the kiosk perfectly, seamlessly blending in with the cabinetry.