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Eastern Kentucky University

Speed up inventory with technology that fits in your hand

Student studying in Eastern Kentucky University Library

“Once the Digby app rolled out the inventory functionality, we immediately jumped onboard [and] tried it out. And we haven’t looked back.”

Laura Edwards
Discovery and Access Team Leader, Eastern Kentucky University

Laura Edwards, the Discovery and Access Team Leader at the Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) Libraries, and her team began “a comprehensive inventory of our collection when we implemented WorldShare® [Management Services] a couple years ago.” Since the Digby® mobile app was not yet available, they began the project “up in the stacks with a laptop and scanning the volumes. There was a lot of lag time, slowness. [The Circulation application alone] was just a very clunky thing to have to use in the stacks.”  

Created for libraries with WorldShare Management Services (WMS), the Digby mobile app was designed to help library workers handle common tasks, like inventory and reshelving, more efficiently. Once EKU library adopted Digby, the staff was able use its inventory feature to continue their project more productively. Laura explained that “the nice thing about Digby’s inventory mode is that it has just enough information, with the title, barcode, call number, and shelving location right there in front of you while you’re doing inventory.” 

“It really illustrates how much easier and simplified Digby has made taking inventory for us.”

Now, EKU cataloging staff simply scan the barcodes on the books using a Bluetooth scanner and an iPad. “We have completed inventory of our fourth-floor books. And this has really sped up due to the rollout of the inventory function in Digby,” reported Laura.

She explained that the cataloging staff had begun the project working in pairs because one person needed to monitor the Circulation application on the laptop while the other person scanned the materials, since the application sometimes couldn’t keep up with the speed of scanning. However, “now that we have Digby on a device, it might not be necessary anymore” to have multiple people working on it. Digby also keeps track of the last item inventoried so it’s easy to pass the work between staff members or assign people different sections to inventory simultaneously.

“Digby will also alert you while you’re scanning something that has an in-transit status, which is helpful,” Laura said. “When they get that message, they can immediately go and check in that item within the Digby app.” Digby alerts you if any item is listed as missing, is at the wrong branch, fulfills an open hold, or requires additional processing. Laura added that the “notifications and sounds feature in the Digby app has been the most helpful thing for us. When you are scanning a ton of material using a paired scanner, you don’t have to keep an eye on the screen, since Digby will alert you via sound or vibration if an issue crops up.”

Because they have such a large collection, this was EKU Libraries’ first comprehensive inventory in a long time, and the EKU libraries staff was able to continue their inventory project at a much faster pace than they originally thought possible because of Digby. This allows EKU librarians more time to serve library users in more direct and personal ways.

Location

  • Richmond, Kentucky, United States

Library at a glance

  • Supports a university with students from all 50 states and 36 countries, more than half of whom are either first-generation or low-income students
  • Helps tens of thousands of students through library instruction sessions each year
  • Maintains three library branches

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