From today, members of St Hugh’s College Library will be able to borrow DVDs and CD-ROMs.
Until December 2010, the college JCR (Junior Common Room, or undergraduate student body) had a collection of films on DVD which they kept in a student’s bedroom and administered their own system for keeping track of loans.
Over the Christmas vacation, the JCR’s DVDs were brought to me for cataloguing and from today, the collection is available for loan. A maximum of 3 DVDs may be borrowed at once, and the loan period is 3 days.
Since the installation of the RFID security and stock management system in August 2010, the library has had the facility to lend multimedia items using the same self-service kiosk used for book borrowing. This is how the system works:
1. DVDs and CD-ROMs are stored in jewel cases that look identical to the usual cases, but have an in-built locking mechanism which secures the disc inside the case.
2. The special cases also contain RFID tags, so if someone tries to leave the library with an item they have not borrowed, it will trigger the alarm.
3. When someone borrows a disc using the self-service kiosk, they will be able to exit the library without triggering the alarm.
4. Just after the security gate, there is an unlocking unit affixed to the wall. The borrower slides the case through the unit to unlock it, and can then access the disc inside.
Alongside the DVDs, there is also a small collection of CD-ROMs. These CD-ROMs come from textbooks where they provide supplementary information, an electronic version of the text or animations to accompany the main text.
CD-ROMs have the same lending rules as the books they accompany. Both the disc and the matching book are labelled ‘Multipart item – check catalogue for additional parts’ to help students locate the companion items in the library.