February 16, 2018

Reservation Management | Product Spotlight

Print management and computer reservation solutions are designed to help libraries cut down on waste and ensure that time on public computers is distributed fairly among patrons, with minimal staff intervention. To keep pace with current trends, several vendors have added new features to their public computer management packages in recent months, enabling patrons to print from their own mobile devices, for example. All vendors negotiate pricing on a system- by-system basis, typically according to the selection of specific options or modules, the number of branches in which the solutions will be used, and the number of public access stations at each branch. Some solutions, such as Librarica’s CASSIE and Comprise’s SAM, are designed as fully integrated systems offering a variety of management features in one package. Other providers, such as EnvisionWare, iTeam, and GoPrint, offer the option to purchase reservation and print management modules separately. However, all vendors contacted for this spotlight describe their solutions as scalable, with options available for networks with as few as five public computers.


COMPANY: Librarica

Librarica’s integrated computer and print management system, CASSIE, offers features including patron authentication, session time control, computer reservations and waiting lists, print cost recovery, visual management, dynamic web filter control, thin client support, and real-time statistics reporting, Librarica president Anna Achruk tells LJ.

In addition, a web reservation module enables libraries to add computer reservation and waiting list sign-up functions to their website. Also, a visual management feature enables library staff to view a graphical map of the library, showing the real-time status of all computers, Achruk says.

“Staff can perform remote functions on computers by clicking on them on the map. Patrons have their own version of the visual management map at the self-serve reservation station. This allows patrons to search for available computers or reserve computers.”

Other options include restaurant-style pagers to alert patrons when it is their turn to use a computer. Self-service coin/bill and credit/debit card vending hardware allows users to pay for print jobs without staff assistance.

Librarica offers a pricing estimates calculator for libraries at www.librarica.com/pricing.html.


PRODUCT: SAM (Smart Access Manager)
Company: Comprise Technologies

Comprise Technologies’ SAM (Smart Access Manager) is a fully integrated solution that includes computer reservation, session management, print management, Internet access rules for patrons, usage reporting features, and more. The latest version, SAM 9.0, includes customizable themes and smart client technology that automatically puts offline PCs in safe mode, informs staff when a PC isn’t working, and removes those PCs from sign-up stations.

With its new Smart Alec app, SAM now includes native support for “bring your own device” printing, making it easy for patrons to print from their own tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Patrons just have to download the SAM Smart Alec app from Google Play or the Apple Store and enter their library card number. The app will then authenticate the user, verify their library system, and use geolocation data to determine the location of the branch they are in to send documents to the print station seamlessly.

“Smart Alec will support any application in a smart device that supports printing—any application that has a print icon,” explains Comprise president Dan Curtin.

Comprise also offers Simpler SAM, a hosted solution that features the session, Internet, and print management functionality of SAM, along with its reporting aspects, without requiring libraries to operate the system on their own servers.


PRODUCTS: PC Reservation, PC Reservation Small Library Edition, LPT:One, EnvisionWare Suite
Company: EnvisionWare

EnvisionWare offers a variety of modular library efficiency solutions, including its PC Reservation and LPT:One print management software, which can be purchased as stand-alone solutions or combined, at a discounted rate, as the EnvisionWare Suite. Currently, about 10,000 U.S. library branches use PC Reservation and 7,000 use EnvisionWare Suite.

“We purposely built them as separate products, because we’re committed to customer choice,” explains EnvisionWare CEO Mike Monk. “If a customer already has a print system, we want them to be able to use PC Reservation and vice versa.”

During the past year and a half, several new features have been added to both solutions. Through a partnership with cloud-based printer solutions provider PrinterOn, LPT:One libraries can now opt for branch-level subscriptions to ­PrinterOn’s MobilePrint service, which will enable patrons to print from their personal devices including tablets and smartphones. New language options, customizable receipts, sophisticated new auditing features, the ability for patrons to pay directly with a credit card, and a new cash register interface that simplifies small over-the-counter transactions are among other recent updates.


PRODUCTs: Re’Quest, Print Quest
Company: iTeam Resources

Re’Quest computer reservation management and Print Quest print management are part of iTeam’s modular “Quest Suite,” which also includes self-service payment card management, reporting tools, and cost recovery equipment management. Re’Quest and Print Quest can operate as stand-alone solutions or work seamlessly with other iTeam modules.

iTeam president Megan Newell says that the company’s development process is driven by input from its customers. Unique features include the ability for individual terminals to authenticate users from different systems—such as an integrated library system or a student database—and bill different types of users accordingly.

“We’re seeing a trend of mixed resources,” Newell says. “Some of our university libraries are also allowing public library patrons [to use their computers].”

Other librarian-inspired features include the administrative ability to lock down in-session computers remotely and the option to set up split-time reservations for libraries that close temporarily during the day. For libraries interested in making available printing via tablets, smartphones, laptops, and other patron-owned devices, iTeam offers the Quest Wireless Printing module, which includes a web-based interface for sending documents to a library printer.


Company: GoPrint Systems

MyPC, a new computer reservation management solution from GoPrint, features at-a-glance search options enabling patrons to find available computers, make advance reservations, or add their names to a wait list. MyPC is completely web-based, so administrators can employ any computer, tablet, or mobile device with a web browser to see which computers are being used, set time limits for usage, send messages directly to users, and terminate sessions if necessary.

Libraries can choose to display a compulsory Acceptable Use Policy that patrons must view and agree to before a session begins. As well, a separate feature can be used to deny computer access to specific patrons who have outstanding fines or materials.

“MyPC integrates with your environment regardless of what network or library management system you use and even includes the option of managing computer access from their smartphones or tablets,” says GoPrint Systems sales director Brenda Briseno. “The solution offers scheduled reports for administrators that can be automatically emailed daily, weekly, or monthly.”

This article was published in Library Journal's October 15, 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Matt Enis About Matt Enis

Matt Enis (menis@mediasourceinc.com; @matthewenis on Twitter) is Senior Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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