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Library Review: Technology

Cardiff Portal

Cardiff Portal provides a personalised, single point of access to online resources, and will be developed to support Cardiff University users in all aspects of their learning, teaching, research and administration. 

Accessible via the internet from anywhere, the Portal provides a single access point to content and services such as email, news feeds, relevant applications, and links to external content. Developments are underway to integrate lean, automated business processes within the service.

Resources such as the library catalogue and electronic journal databases are accessible via Cardiff Portal.

Self issue

Close up of self issue machine in library

Many sites have now installed high-tech self issue and return machines. The machines, provided by Intellident, enable library users to quickly and easily borrow and return library materials for themselves. The facilities have proved extremely popular with users and have freed library staff up from issue counters, to spend more time on other roles such as helping users around the library.

Aberconway and Trevithick Libraries have gone one step further and, as part of their recent refurbishments, have each installed book return slots outside the library entrance. These enable users to return materials, which are instantly removed from their borrower's account, even when the library is closed.

Roll on, SmartBlades!

SmartBlades is a new technology which can be installed within an existing library book shelving system to monitor the volumes present (and missing!) from each shelf, by integrating with the library's electronic catalogue.  The Biomedical Sciences Library is trialling the SmartBlade system provided by Intellident Ltd.  It is the first library in the world to use the system and will be instrumental in the system's future development.

Ask a Librarian - live!

Student using laptop in uni grounds

The 'Ask a Librarian' project aims to develop enhanced enquiry support to remotely based users. Users not physically present in one of the libraries are able to contact a team of librarians electronically, who will be able to offer support online. Find out more...

  • Mouse and journals