Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 4 — April 2001
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Keystone Integrates Library Automation with Warehouse Materials Management

Keystone Systems, Inc. has announced that it has successfully integrated its KLAS (Keystone Library Automation System) software with a state-of-the-art computer-controlled warehouse storage-and-retrieval system manufactured by Diamond Phoenix. According to the announcement, the KLAS Carousel Storage interface allows quick, easy, and accurate pulling of materials for library patrons. It also speeds the return to storage when items are checked back in. 

The first library to implement this interface was the New Mexico Talking Book Library in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The library recently moved into a space located in the newly constructed New Mexico Library, Archives and Records center in Santa Fe. The library chose to use the carousel system to reduce storage-space requirements in the new facility. 

"The efficiency of space utilization in the carousels allowed for substantial savings in construction costs," said Jerry Packard, New Mexico Talking Book Library’s acting director. The library now has double the storage capacity for its collection in half the square footage of what it had before the move. This is due to the greater density of materials storage provided by the carousels over conventional library compact shelving. According to the announcement, reduced construction costs more than paid for the system, and increased operating efficiency was an added bonus. 

With the new KLAS interface, the library estimates that picking and check-out operations have seen a 60-percent improvement in efficiency, trimming the process from 5 to 2 hours. There has been a 65-percent improvement in check-in and re-shelving operations, which now take less than an hour and are done with three steps instead of the eight steps required before.

Using the carousel system and KLAS, the New Mexico Talking Book Library currently manages 44,000 titles and 285,000 copies of books on recorded cassettes. The library circulates 125,000 items annually to 4,500 patrons throughout the state via U.S. mail. The library uses KLAS software to manage the selection of materials for readers according to their stated interests and preferences. KLAS also tracks the precise location of the items, which are stored randomly in the carousel system in individual plastic shipping cases.

Source: Keystone Systems, Inc., Raleigh, NC, 800/222-9711;

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