Industry Solutions

Industry Solutions

CipherLab Mobile Computers in School Libraries Make Reading Data Easy

Since 1987, Salt Lake City, Utah-based COMPanion Corporation has delivered library automation software solutions to schools around the world. However, COMPanion Corporation and its customers needed an option for answering a unique problem: as school libraries expanded to remote storage locations, they needed a system that could remotely automate and store book inventory data. Since employees had to manually enter location information, entry mistakes resulted on a consistent basis that sometimes meant having a hard time finding books. Furthermore, with all of the effort it took to manually enter information, employees were wasting extra time that could be better spent on other projects. With stringent budget management as a priority, it was important for schools to find an efficient, simple and fast way to manage library book inventory management. COMPanion Corporation determined that a solution would be to pair an automated data collection solution with its library automation and textbook management software systems, Alexandria and Textbook Tracker. It turned to CipherLab and the 1166 wireless BT scanner to create an affordable, bundled product to automate book data collection.

With the CipherLab 1166, COMPanion has successfully deployed the software/hardware solution to manage book inventory and circulation in school libraries in the United States, and around the globe in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Chile and Mexico. When paired with COMPanion Textbook Tracker and Alexandria, the joint solution helps schools cut their textbook losses by half or more through better book management - an important cost savings. The COMPanion-CipherLab joint solution also helped school libraries become more efficient.

"Overall the 1166 has proven to be extremely durable, easy to use and flexible, resulting in increased productivity for school employees," said Randy Everill, hardware selection team manager at COMPanion. "Since the 1166 requires minimal training and is not overly complex, our customers say they can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, its wireless range enables employees to update information in real-time from anywhere in the library. When librarians need to go to remote book storage locations, they can safely utilize the 1166's large memory mode to store information until they return within communications range."

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