Do you use Junior Librarian in your school? We have the .net version which gives a Silverlight environment where children can scan books in and out using a barcode reader. I know some schools have the thumbprint reader that does the same job.

But does your library system do anything else?

I asked on Twitter if anyone used this system and about 5 people replied saying they did, but none knew about it’s potential and additional features. Admittedly, it has been hard finding them out myself, but I have had .net demos at Bett so I had a rough idea.

So what can it do?

I’m not going to mention the VLE integration as that isn’t something we do. But every child can have a login which can be a simple 3digit number. Unfortunately the login choice is limited so I can’t make it the same as my Google login which is a bit of a pain. The password is also admin controlled so the children don’t manage this. Again, a bit of a pain. But once the children know their number, they can login and access the system.

They can then see which books they have out, reserve books, write reviews and search through a huge amount of information.

Now this isn’t groundbreaking at all but these are things you should be looking at, particularly if you are paying for them!The reserve feature is cool, but might be tricky. For example, child 1 reserves a book, then child 2 hands the book back in and gets a message saying child 1 has reserved it. It is then child 2’s responsibility to print a reserve slip and put it in the book! Will children do that for others? Probably not. Maybe, but they’d need training!

We are now investigating adding email addresses to the children’s data screens so we can email them if they have overdue books.

So…if you have junior, have a play. phone the help desk, get using it online!

Don’t forget to install Silverlight on all machines first though.

PS: I know there are other versions out there, even free ones, but this is something that has been in place for a while so will stay for a few years yet!