Southport College is a well established independent Further Education college providing a diverse programme of education and training to a variety of learners across the North West. The library team were worthy winners of the Tribal Technical Innovation Award in 2007 for their implementation of biometric technology.

Q. What range of media do you hold in your library? Is it all catalogued on Heritage?
Books, DVDs, CDs, Journals, eBooks, online databases. All items are catalogued with the exception of individual journal issues (only identified titles receive full cataloguing).
Q. Can you remember where you first heard about Heritage? Did you look at our website before contacting us?
Heritage was already installed when I joined the institution so I can’t comment on the implementation.
Q. What are your overall impressions of ISOxford staff?
Very good. All staff are friendly, efficient and maintain good contact whilst an issue is on-going.  
Q. How have you found the support service from ISstaff?
Excellent. We rarely have problems with Heritage but occasionally we need to contact Support for help with upgrades or minor issues. The service is always prompt with most things resolved on the same day. Good communication is maintained when a more detailed response is required.
Q. Have you used the support website? How useful did you find it?
Yes. Very useful for downloading Helpsheets.
Q. Are you a member of Marvin, our list server? Do you find Marvin a useful service?
Yes and I have found it useful on many occasions for resolving minor queries, which I will usually post on Marvin before contacting Support.
Q. How has Heritage improved the day-to-day running of the library and services offered to your users?
The introduction of the Biometrics module in 2006 has improved our service enormously. We have dispensed with the need to present a membership card in order to access services and borrow resources, which has seen a significant increase in students’ uptake of our services. In the first year of Biometrics implementation we saw the number of students borrowing resources more than double in comparison to the previous year.
Biometrics also eradicated the problems associated with card-sharing and lost cards (lost stock, disputes over fines etc).
Biometrics have proved extremely popular with our core client-group of 16-19 year olds. They often comment on the system, saying how convenient they find it and enjoy the “high-tech” aspect of it. More mature students have also welcomed the system and we have virtually 100% uptake of biometrics registration.
Staff have enjoyed the benefits of the system and we have found that registering users’ biometrics takes much less time than allocating membership cards. The time saved has freed up staff-time to engage with students in a positive way, which is particularly important at the start of the year when the library-student relationship is being forged.
The college is currently working with IS Oxford to develop our use of biometrics with other applications such as exam registration.
Q. What are your favourite features in Heritage?
Biometrics obviously, but we also like the new improved screens in the 4.2.8 enquiry module. The inclusion of book covers is a particularly attractive feature and has practical uses too. Students find it much easier to locate a book if they know what it looks like. Circulation screens are clear and easy to follow. We find that new staff can be trained very quickly on the basics of Circulation as the screens are so easy to follow. We have had new staff comment on the speed and ease with which they learnt to use the system.
Q. Do you have any other comments you would like to make about ISOxford or Heritage? Would you recommend it/us to other libraries?
I would certainly be happy to recommend IS Oxford and Heritage to other librarians. We have been satisfied customers for around seven years and have seen the continuous development of Heritage over that time, with the addition of new feature and functions.

Southport College have been using Heritage since 2000. They currently have unlimited full access licences, the Serials Management Module (including Acquisitions), the Reader Import Module, the Server Performance Pack, the Fines Module, the Quickcat Online Module, Heritage Biometrics and Heritage Online (Large).

 
 

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