First Installation of Wireless RFID System in U.S. Library Deployed
First Installation of Wireless RFID System in U.S. Library Deployed
The first-known totally wireless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system in a U.S. library has been successfully deployed at the Prairie Trails Public Library (www.PrairieTrailsLibrary.org), located in Burbank, Ill.
The wireless system provides the library with the flexibility of moving its self-check units to the most convenient areas of the library, even if those locations change over time.
The decision to go wireless was made during the planning stages of the RFID installation, when Checkpoint Systems Inc., the Thorofare, N.J.-based company that planned the installation of its Intelligent Library System (ILS), realized that the logistical set-up of the library was such that it was going to be difficult to configure the ILS in the conventional manner. Instead, the company would need to set up the system without the use of any hard-wiring or cables to connect the equipment, something that had never been done before in a library.
“We were ultimately able to accommodate their request for a wireless RFID system by using Ethernet-based wireless converters and configuring them to work with the library’s system,” explains Michael Jermyn, general manager of Checkpoint’s Library Group.
“The ILS was smoothly installed, easy to operate and was very efficiently integrated with our library circulation system,” says Sheri Starr, assistant director and automation manager at Prairie Trails Public Library.
“It’s a thrill knowing that we’ve been a little part of history in the library community with the operation of a totally wireless RFID system,” comments Star.
According to Starr, the ILS has helped the library achieve its primary objective of improved security and has also been an aid in its daily operations as well.
Sales Up at Barnes & Noble and Borders
Sales are up at both of the nation’s largest booksellers.
Barnes & Noble reported that sales for 2005 increased 5 percent to $5.1 billion. The company reported that store sales increased 6 percent to $4.4 billion. Sales at Barnes & Noble.com increased 5 percent to $439.7 million. Sales at the company’s B. Dalton stores were $141.6 million for the year, a 20-percent decrease due to store closings.
By comparison, the company’s increase in bookstore sales slowed slightly from the prior year, but topped the increase that the company saw in 2003. In 2004, Barnes & Noble store sales were $4.1 billion—an increase of 7 percent over the prior year. And in 2003, the company reported bookstore sales of $3.8 billion—an increase of 4.5 percent over the prior year.
“By every single important financial metric, 2005 was a great year for the company. Strong expense controls and expanding gross margins drove record earnings,” says Steve Riggio, Barnes & Noble CEO.
Borders reported that sales at its domestic superstores increased by 4.7 percent in 2005, ending the year at $2.71 billion. Strong fourth-quarter book sales led results with an increase of 6 percent for the period, according to the company. Music continued to decline in the fourth quarter, with an 11-percent decrease compared to the same period last year.
“In the fourth quarter, we began to see the benefits of investments made in Borders stores, and we learned where capital is best deployed to drive future returns,” says Borders CEO Greg Josefowicz. “This year, we’ll continue to invest, much as we did in 2005, with a focus on our key book, café and gifts and stationery categories, and once again, all of our growth will emerge in the fourth quarter.”
In 2004, a year when the company opened 19 new superstores, its domestic sales had increased 4.8 percent over fiscal 2003, ending the year at $2.59 billion.
For 2005, international sales were $576.4 million, a 12.9-percent increase versus 2004 (which slowed compared to 2004’s 25.3-percent increase over 2003).
Knopf Targets Underserved College Demographic
Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Inc. and publisher of hardcover fiction and nonfiction, is stepping up its marketing to the college market. The company has formed a strategic partnership with Y2M: Youth Media and Marketing Networks, a marketing services company focused on the college and recent graduate market, to promote its list of dynamic young authors to students nationwide. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., will leverage Y2M’s insight and network of campus-specific university newspaper Web sites to capture this important audience, which includes more than two million consumers who purchase $40 billion in goods and services annually.
Recent survey results indicate that college students are a demographic underserved by most publishers. Ninety-seven percent of college students report reading at least one to two books outside the scope of their courses each semester, according to Y2M. In addition, 79 percent report buying new books at bookstores, and another 44 percent buy new titles from online vendors. Knopf will work with the Y2M’s college marketing experts to creatively reach this active book-buying audience through Y2M’s media properties.
“Y2M’s established position in the college media landscape is the ideal vehicle for us to connect students across the country with our books and gain a better understanding of what titles interest this specific audience,” says Scott DiPerna, manager of special marketing at Knopf. “College students are discriminating recreational readers who want to be challenged and entertained both inside and outside the classroom, which is why we believe the Knopf group is a perfectly suited publisher to meet their reading interests.”
As a premier partner, Knopf will become the “Official Sponsor” of Y2M’s Books Channel, which will be accessible through a link on more than 350 college newspaper sites. Y2M also will work to make college-appropriate titles available for review by college newspaper editors and facilitate online press conferences with popular authors.
“Knopf is highly regarded in the industry for the quality of titles they have published, which span several categories, including nonfiction, fiction, biographies and even poetry and cookbooks,” says Dina Pradel, vice president and general manager of Y2M. “We strongly believe that college students are regular readers willing to buy new titles in bookstores and online, presuming publishers provide them with titles that speak to their interests. Compelling titles, coupled with the access to college opinion-leaders that Y2M can provide, should lead to increased penetration for Knopf in this demographic.”
Y2M reaches college students and recent graduates where they live, study, work and play, through media properties including official campus newspapers, underground campus communities and scholarship search engines, as well as on-campus marketing efforts. It helps advertisers, including Ford Motor Company, Samsung Electronics NA, Amazon, Apple and Goldman Sachs, connect with students and graduates online, in print and on campus.
Realtors’ Association Launches Virtual Library eBooks Collection
Realtors will soon be able to spend their down time brushing up on real estate data, sales techniques and personal growth tips through their PDAs, laptops and SmartPhones, thanks to the new Virtual Library eBooks Collection launched by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), America’s largest trade association, with more than 1.2 million members.
“Through the eBooks Collection, NAR members will have access to digital literature,” says Dale Stinton, NAR CEO and executive vice president. “This tool is effective and beneficial for our members. Realtors I know spend a great deal of time on the road and away from traditional office settings, yet still find ways to increase their business knowledge and personal growth. By tapping into our Virtual Library, realtors can leverage this burgeoning technology to develop their skills while on the go.”
NAR’s eBooks Collection offers more than 300 digital and audio books from best-selling authors on subject matter ranging from popular real estate and business management to personal development.
NAR members can borrow up to three e-books at no charge for 21 days, after which they are deactivated and “returned” to the library collection. Like in a public library, if a title is currently on loan, the requester can opt to be added to a waiting list and automatically notified by e-mail when the title becomes available.
Once a title is selected and placed in an “eBookBag,” the user may check out titles directly to a PC, PDA or SmartPhone. A select number of titles may also be downloaded to an MP3 player or burned to a CD. Titles are available in one of three formats: Adobe, Mobipocket and audio book format. NAR members and staff will be able to get free downloads for Adobe Reader, Mobipocket Reader and OverDrive Media Console at the virtual library Web site, http://eBooks.Realtor.org.
Muller Martini Introduces Pantera Perfect Binder in U.S.
Muller Martini will unveil a new addition, the Pantera perfect binder, to its line of adhesive binding systems during an Open House to be held at the company’s Long Island, N.Y., headquarters in September. The event will mark the official release of the Pantera to the North American market.
The new perfect binder runs up to 4,000 cycles per hour. In addition to conventional hotmelt binding, it can process PUR Adhesive (polyurethane reactive).
Pantera can handle a broad array of different size jobs and can be configured with up to 28 feeder stations. It also can be equipped with a drum cover feeder and an optional crash feeder station for hardcover book production.
The Pantera perfect binder is designed for fast and convenient set-up via its interactive Set-up Assistant Companion and touch-screen monitor. Settings and specs for all stations are displayed for the current production, and data for repeat jobs can be saved and reloaded with the touch of a button. The Set-up Assistant Companion also monitors various elements such as the glue pot and spinner temperature, and provides automatic glue length control for spine and side gluing.
Pantera can be optionally equipped with AMRYS (Automatic Make-Ready System) technology, further shortening make-ready times.