Library Sort Assistant for returning books

Modern-day academic libraries continue to face challenges with staffing, technology and funding. As fees carry on rising, students have higher expectations from their on-site resources, while security becomes paramount in a cost-of-living crisis.

With these obstacles in mind, library staff need a cost-effective solution that can help them deliver on customer service. In particular, they need to make sure books can be readily available, reducing the risk of theft and loss in the process. Likewise, they need to spend less time on staff training so that they can focus on public-facing roles.

This is where the Sort Assistant can help. As a one-of-a-kind library RFID system, it has been designed to minimise sorting time in the returns room, without staff resorting to automated materials handling.

What is the Sort Assistant software package?

The Sort Assistant is an RFID software package that helps library staff process multiple items in one step.

It provides a cost-effective alternative to manual sorting. With all the benefits of the Sort Assistant at a lower cost, the software conveniently bolts on to your existing Circulation Assistant or as a new standalone package. Install the software on your library PCs and you’re ready to go.

A woman is using the RFID Sort Assistant to return library books
How does the Sort Assistant work?

The software features a colour-based destination sorting interface. This deals with all exceptions in one step, no matter how many items are returned. A customer places their book onto the RFID pad, which then reads the label and displays the sorting criteria on-screen with colour-coded bars.

Sorting criteria include:

  • To be shelved in this library
  • To be returned to another library (destination details included)
  • To be kept on hold for a customer in this library
  • Item attributes including call number, Dewey Decimal Classification, collection code, location code, media type and/or SIP2 screen message.

And with the option to automatically print on hold slips and transit slips, it negates the need to sort each item individually. Staff can simply print out slips ready for items to transfer to other branches.

The Sort Assistant is compatible with all major Library Management System providers and can be bought as a standalone application or integrated with your existing library products from AdvaNova. Other add-ons include 24/7 return chutes and smart bins.

Customise your own returns system with the Sort Assistant

With the Sort Assistant, library staff can configure their entire returns process. The Sort Assistant allows users to colour-code items based on return status and have full visibility over stock. Rather than tedious individual sorting steps for each item, everything is processed in one.

By bolting on the Sort Assistant to their existing PC systems, library staff will be able to:

  • Process returns in one single step.
  • Easily identify books by status with colour-coding
  • Quickly sort and allocate items for the correct destination.
  • Automatically print hold and transit slips
  • Save costs by integrating software with their existing tools.
  • Help staff focus on customer service rather than cumbersome returns.

This can help managers to save costs and cut back on time spent with manual jobs. Instead, library staff can focus on customer service, thereby improving the experience for everyone.

The Sort Assistant is a fully compatible time-saving product ideal for time-strapped library teams. Its user-friendly interface is quick and simple to set up, saving time and resource on training. Better still, it facilitates customer service by freeing up staff time.

Female library employee using the Library Sort Assistant to print off receipt for returned books.

To find out more about installing the Sort Assistant in your library, contact the AdvaNova team today on:


Telephone: 01582 769991

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