Enhancing the 21st-Century Library with Digital Touchpoints

By Alex Goodwin

May 24, 2017

Libraries around the world are rapidly reinventing themselves to keep pace with the digital age. Some, like Eureka Loft in Scottsdale, Arizona, are positioning themselves as start-up incubators. Others have shifted their emphasis from lending books to providing services such as free ESL classes or public access to 21st-century tools like 3D printers. Many more libraries seek to retain traditional their functionality and purpose, while simply augmenting their offerings as opportunity allows.

With a common overarching mission of providing the public with knowledge and opportunity, these institutions must make sure that they have the necessary tools in place that will help them achieve their goals. Built upon iOS tablets, Interactive Kiosks from Aila Technologies are consumer-friendly devices that can play an integral role in upgrading critical library infrastructure, and at an increasingly palatable price point.

The Interactive Kiosk: a powerful and versatile digital touchpoint

Aila Technologies makes hardware that transforms iPads, iPods, and iPhones into powerful, customizable business solutions. For the libraries of today and tomorrow, these secure, versatile tools make perfect self-service kiosks, enabling visitors to peruse catalogs, register for library cards or check in using existing cards. Payment processing and integrated scanning capabilities allow for easy self-checkout. With a sleek form factor, Aila’s Interactive Kiosk can also serve as a hub for other pieces of hardware, granting visitors wireless access to tools like printers or digital displays.

At the core of Aila’s products is a familiar touchscreen interface. It could be a portal to a library’s website or, for example, a custom app that provides personalized recommendations based on a user’s preferences or personal history. In addition, Aila’s proprietary TrueScan™ Technology powers an integrated image-based scanning engine which enables scanning of ISBNs, visitor ID cards, and much more. In fact, the scanner in Aila’s Interactive Kiosk can also read 1D/2D barcodes, IDs, credit cards, and QR codes, in any lighting environment.

Improving the customer experience

The end result is a powerful, adaptable 21st-century tool designed to improve the customer experience. Even if only used to automate mundane functions like catalog look-ups or library card registration, solutions from Aila Technologies can have an outsized impact simply by freeing up library staff to focus on those patron interactions that are still best served by human touch. 

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