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Good morning,

I only received a couple of responses to my original post about additional
uses (other than inventory) for our In-Hand unit.  Several responded that
they use them to create bibliographies, which is not an option on my unit.
These people indicated that they had Follett software so apparently the
features vary greatly depending on what software company.  I have begun to
use mine to log "in-house" usage of items that are used here in the library
for research, skills lessons, or other activities.  I feel that not only will
this give an additional boost to my circulation statistics, but also will
help with weeding so that I (or future librarians) don't inadvertently
discard items that have not "circulated" in a while even though they are used
annually for other assignments.  Of course, they are also useful to check
out/in items in locations other than the library or when the network is down.
I will list the actual responses below.  Thanks to those who responded.

We are using Follett Circ/Catalog 6.2. We have portable scanners  
called PHD Dolphins that we use all the time! First of all, whenever  
the district server has problems, we use them for remote check-out  
and check-in. Over the years this has happened all too frequently. We  
also use them to scan books into a category. For instance, suppose we  
wanted to have a list of easy chapter books. We would just go to the  
E section and scan the barcodes of all of the books on which we have  
put easy chapter book label and then download them into our catalog.  
Or, as you gather together books on a topic for a class, scan them  
into a category and then you will have it for future reference. It  
can be done right on the carts, shelves or tables, rather than  
lugging books over to the fixed scanner at your computer. The lists  
can be sorted and printed out, and they can be viewed by patrons at  
other libraries through Web Collection. Recently when we weeded, we  
kept the scanner handy and as we found books that we wanted to  
replace we simple scanned the barcodes before we weeded them and made  
a category list of those. We also scanned the books we weeded as we  
put them in boxes and simply deleted them from our catalog via the  

We have used it  to access the catalog.

Ours was a godsend, allowing us to complete our annual inventory in a
>week rather than two (I really didn't like donating a week of my
>vacation to finish inventory).  But its biggest use was by teachers
>(and students) to create bibliographies or reading lists or lists of
>books placed on reserve.  We did a quick instruction on how to use
>the unit, and turned them loose in the stacks to select their own
>books, videos, cd's, or realia for whatever project they were working
>on.  They would bring it to the front desk and in a few minutes we'd
>have a customized list for them, with whatever header they wanted,
>ordered in their choice of author, title, or call number.  Nifty and
>very easy for them, and very time saving for us.
>I use mine to update records at the beginning of the year for the patrons. I
do global updates with it. I also create categories for teachers to have a
bibliography of the assignments they do.
I have in the past used it for attendance to scan the patron barcodes to send
to study halls. Where I teach now there are not study halls in the schedule.
Since I inventory all over the building in all classrooms, mine gets used a
lot.  I try to "hot sync" every 200 or every full shelf.

Cindy Schmidt, Librarian/NBCT
Central Middle School
P. O. Box 748
Charlotte C. H., VA  23923
434-542-4536 (p)

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't
read them." -Mark Twain

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