Inventory Software and Barcode Scanners
- We use Track-IT from Intuit. It isn't super cheap but it does a nice
job and we really like the library feature for checking out items. We also use it to keep the laptops, batteries, swappable drives and power supplies aligned with the right students. It ties in with AD so users are already there. It's been around for a while so there may be something newer, better and cheaper but Track-IT does what it needs to for us.
Bar code Scanners
- We use a WASP Freedom Scanner (WWS800) which uses BlueTooth to talk to the base or to the computer directly. It is great. Our librarians can walk around the entire library with it and scan away.
- We have Follett's system. Two years ago I started buying scanners from Barcode Discount Warehouse. They have a 5 year warranty...no need for an extended maintenance contract.http://www.bcdw.com
- I've used http://www.intelliscanner.com/ it works well, though I haven't had the opportunity to compare it to others.
- I can't testify as to how they will work with library systems, but when my old scanner bit the dust, I just got the least expensive USB connective scanner to replace it. It plugged into the port on my flat screen monitor and works better than the old one did.
- I'm running Concourse on PC's with WinXP-Pro. Perhaps you'll be as lucky. By the way, the new scanner with stand cost less than $150...much better than buying through my Concourse supplier (or your Follett). I got mine from a local computer supply store.
- In general Symbol's stuff has worked very well for me.
- I don't have any experience on the Mac side. We went with Symbol USB scanners (http://www.symbol.com/ls1203) and they have worked very well. They are recognized as a standard input device just like a keyboard so I would imagine they would work on a Mac as well.
- I asked our sales rep at TigerDirect to investigate "the least expensive CCD scanner" that would work with our new Macs. After several hours, he called back and asked for additional information on the two machines we will be using (one Intel dual core CPU @1.6GHz and one single core CPU @1.5GHz ). He ended up recommending the Adesso NUSCAN3000 Barcode Scanner at $149.99 each.
- Regarding the "faking" of barcodes... We use 3d barcodes and a single barcode (think UPC) Each has the student ID and a md5sum of the students name with a custom string. This is almost 100% impossible to fake.
- There are plenty of inexpensive USB barcode readers out there and any of them should work here's a source: http://www.epicpos.com/barcode-scanners If you really want to go cheap, and sharpen your hacking skills at the same time, try and find some of those old CueCat devices. There are instructions on modifying them on the web http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat Ebay is selling USB cuecats at less than $10 each. On a Mac a barcode scanner shows up as a keyboard device.
Inventory Control and Point-of-Sale Scanners
We're looking for a point of sale system that would give us inventory control and the ability to scan bar codes. We're interested in utilizing the same system for our school store and our cafeteria. How about your library? Any recommendations? Companies to avoid?
- We just purchased Odin. Reasonably priced and seems to do it all.
- We have been using Odin for the last three years both in the cafeteria (US-MS and also LS) and the school store. We have chosen not to use the barcode reader (students type their 4 digit codes). It is pretty stable. We are satisfied with it.
- We have been using Microsoft's RMS package in our cafeteria and school store. We are happy with that solution. Currently it feeds into our Blackbaud Student Billing program using Blackbaud's School Store Manager software. However, since RMS is SQL based it should be possible for most vendors to import the data.
Also See: Library Circulation and Catalog Software