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TOPIC: Repurposing White Cartridges

Repurposing White Cartridges 1 week 3 days ago #789

  • epawlus
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We recently received many thousands of white cartridges from NLS, which represent half of the number we need to eventually serve all our patrons on duplication on demand. We have started to identify cartridges from our collection that we can reuse as well.

While I knew that the books from our collection would need to be plugged into the mini repurposing device that is loaned by NLS (so that the cartridges can be recognized in the Scribe), it didn't occur to me that the boxes of new white cartridges would need it as well! We will have a limited amount of time with the unit once it is received. How have other libraries using Scribe handled the workflow? I am frankly overwhelmed by the herculean task ahead of us!

Thanks for your help.
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Repurposing White Cartridges 1 week 2 days ago #790

  • SamLundberg
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Honestly, we just have one staff member sit in front of the repurposing device and plug away. His job is basically to oversee our supplies during the transition and make sure we have enough of everything ready. It's a good chance to listen to a book or a podcast and zone out, since there is basically 0 active though required. Granted we're a tiny library, so our pile of cartridges is merely daunting where your's is herculean (and hopefully not sisyphean).
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Repurposing White Cartridges 2 days 11 hours ago #804

  • NC-Craig
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We have spent around 2 months or so unlocking cartridges as time permitted, by staff and then some dedicated volunteers. The first priority was unlocking. The next priority was re-labeling them.
This all included the 16,800 new 4 gb cartridges from NLS and then somewhere around 5800 we have harvested so far.
This took some effort but we have finished round 1. We will have a round 2 down the road.
As Sam mentioned it is a sort of mindless task. That said, one thing to caution about is that there is some attention needed in order to get things completed in a timely manner. We have found that our younger college-aged volunteers are better suited to more "active" tasks (like inspecting,etc), due to a wondering mind and having a mobile device too close. Our best candidates for this task are more "seasoned" in age and less easily distracted from the task. It's not that you can't look away or can't entertain yourself while doing this. It's just that the cartridges don't take that long to unlock. With 10 slots it's nice to be able to put them all to work regularly. Also collected up the cartridges and sorting them into bins requires some focus. We did have one patron who came in and unlocked around 1000 cartridge in one afternoon. That is our "model" of patron who excels at this task.
I think it's important to have a plan and follow it. Prioritize unlocking first and then relabeling and sorting by size. We have one staff member, our person who make extra copies for the collection, who has done a great job of labeling containers, because they've been doing this for years. We have another person in circulation who is very detail oriented who has our inventory of cartridges organized by size of cartridge using braille monitor issue boxes and other cardboard containers. She also quickly labeled each of the port numbers on the Scribe when we started running things.
Overall we are in good shape, but we know that we will need to maintain inventory to keep up.
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