D-Tech International Introduces App to Help Library Patrons Using Mobile Devices
D-Tech International is introducing appIT, a library app developed exclusively for patrons to use on mobile devices. The library app is the first of its kind in the library market, the company said in a news release, and has been designed and developed by D-Tech, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of high-performance radio-frequency identification (RFID) products and library security systems.
Utilizing either barcode or RFID technology, D-Tech has developed a library app to perform multiple functions that would have been previously performed at a physical location. These features include checking out items, checking account status, account payments, renewing items, checking library locations and hours of operation, chatting with a librarian and more. The app also has the capability to switch the RFID tag’s security off to allow full integration with all RFID implementations. In other words, one can check out a book with a phone, turn its security mechanism off and walk out without having to go to a librarian or check-out station.
The use of AppIT is designed to help public and academic libraries realize cost savings by minimizing the need for more checkout kiosks and related ongoing maintenance costs. The library app intends to free staff to focus more on patron assistance rather than routine administrative tasks that can now be handled by patrons through app. In addition, the app can be used to engage and communicate with patrons through advertising and messaging. Additional information about the books and related information will be loaded into the app, said Marvin Crisp. President of D-Tech International.
“The app is more than just checking out a book,” he said in an interview.
AppIT was introduced to the library community at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta, Jan. 20-24. The product has been tested in Texas and Massachusetts, but is not yet in wide release, Crisp said. He said he anticipates the app to be available for free to users on Apple and Android devices in July. Libraries will be expected to pay a service fee.
“It is part of our mission to have a keen eye on innovation with the purpose of keeping the library as a relevant hub for interaction for the community it serves,” Crisp said in a statement. “The library of today can no longer be restrained by physical walls. We designed and developed the app so libraries can extend their services beyond the library environment and allow patrons to access the services they need when it matters in a secure online environment.”
AppIT just started this month, and the company has more innovative features that will be added over the next several months, Crisp said.