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CityU Library EasyService New Initiatives: EasyPay and EasyRegister – Creative applications of III’s Fines Payment API Presented by Edward So, Michael Cheng, L.F. Lau, Winnie Ho Run Run Shaw Library City University of Hong Kong HKIUG 8 Dec., 2009
EasyService in CityU Library EasyService development in CityU Library: • 2005: 2 sets of SelfCheck units • 2008: EasyCheck System™ for Semi-Closed collection (UHF RFID) • 2008: EasyService for CD/DVD Collection (HF RFID) • 2009: EasyPay and EasyRegister
EasyService in CityU Library • 2005: 2 sets of SelfCheck units installed (1st UGC funded Library to use), now with 4 sets
EasyService in CityU Library • 2008 : EasyCheck System™ for Semi-Closed collection, self-developed system using UHF RFID technology
EasyService in CityU Library • 2008: EasyService for CD/DVD Collection using HF RFID technology
EasyService in CityU Library EasyPay EasyRegister
EasyPay - Outline Introduction - What is EasyPay? Why EasyPay? EasyPay Design EasyPay Implementation Usage Statistics
EasyPay - Background One of the initiatives of EasyService in CityU raised by Librarian Prof. Steve Ching. CityU Library is introducing different EasyService applications in phases to empower the patrons to check in and check out library materials by themselves.
EasyPay - Introduction 2007 Librarian Initiatives 2008 Mar – Applied Research Grant to develop application 2009 Jan - SSCI Journal article published Steve H. Ching, Alice Tai, Joanna Pong, & Michael Cheng, “Don’t Let Micropayments Penalize You – Experience from the City University of Hong Kong,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35 (1):86-97
EasyPay - Background (Old Practice) Cash Register (1) Library Staff input the Student ID to Library System, retrieve the outstanding fines in Library. (2) Library Staff enter value in Octopus enabled Cash Register. (3) User put Octopus card to settle payment. (4) Staff manually update patron record to complete the whole payment transaction. No Direct Communication Library Innopac System Octopus Card Reader Connected by staff intermediary OLD: The work flow for collecting fines with Octopus-enabled cash registers
Why EasyPay? Cash handling require huge manual effort especially in Library with Fines. Minimize the human error in cash handling and input error in the system interface. Faster transaction compared with old practice. Provide round the clock payment even the counter is closed.
EasyPay - Design (Objectives) Integration between Octopus and INNOPAC No staff intermediary Allow payment via electronic means (Octopus) Fast, quick and easy to use for patrons Integrate with CityU Smart Card.
EasyPay – Design (Modes of operation) Modes of operation. Staff mode – to allow staff to collect money using Octopus in the counter. Integrated mode - to handle check-in and check-out operation as well as the fine payment operation. Standalone mode – to allow user to pay on a kiosk.
EasyPay - Design (Program Flow) Need to follow the Octopus Specification and requirement (hundred pages of specification and test plans). Error Handling. Strictly complied with the workflow of Octopus especially related to the payment flow.
EasyPay - Design (Staff Interface) Transaction Enquiry
EasyPay - Design (User/Staff Interface) Fine selection - Confirmation
EasyPay - Design (User/Staff Interface) Fine payment - Selection
EasyPay - Implementation (H/W & S/W) Octopus Mini-MOP reader. Octopus Development Kit. Software: Visual Studio C#. All-in-one PC Kiosk (already in EasyCheck machine) Backend Server Dell PowerEdge 1950 and MS SQL Server. PC with integrated modem for remote dial-up. III Fines Payment API
EasyPay - Implementation (Interface with III) Fines payment API - facilitates the EasyPay workstation to communicate with INNOPAC directly. A Web Service approach To retrieve and update the patron fine payment details of the patron record in INNOPAC. Using searchPatrons to get the fines list and updatePatron to collect the fines.
EasyPay - Implementation (Testing) Handle different error messages by Octopus Mini-MOP reader and INNOPAC. Need to pass through the rigorous testing plan with Octopus Card Ltd. Obtain a type approval form issued by the Octopus Card Limited (OCL).
EasyPay - System Limitation Amount of Octopus payment. Daily Upper limit on payment. Daily limit on Octopus auto-added value. Only auto-added value but not manual added value to the Octopus. Required modem (telephone) dialup to upload the Octopus data information. Bill are not covered because of adjustment and large amount.
EasyPay - Staff feedback Save time/effort to count coins and cash. Convenient as there are fewer steps. Faster cross-checking for each shift. User convenience.
EasyRegister Self-Registration of eligible non-CityU JULAC Library Card Holders
EasyRegister - Old Practice What is the old practice?
The paper application form Chan Tai Man 陳大民 B123456(A) 23456789 98765432 SAMPLE 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong email@example.com Chan Tai Man Circulation Librarian
Chan Tai Man 陳大民 CUHK 0011111 Chan Tai Man 1/2012
A pre-created dummy patron record with pre-input UNIV ID and P BARCODE • JULAC card with this Barcode label stuck on it can borrow books immediately even without patron details
23/6 Chan Tai Man CUHK 0011111 Chan Tai Man
Chan Tai Man 陳大民 CUHK 0011111 Chan Tai Man 1/2012
Not have enough time to key in all the information immediately on site over the counter • Data entry done at backend office according to the user’s application form
EasyRegister - Old Practice • Drawbacks: • Time lag • User cannot access and view circulation account immediately • Possible human error
EasyRegister – Design (User Mode) Confirmation Screen Show user input data for double check. Welcome Screen Press “Start” to begin No Continue Yes System create a patron record on Innopac and print a temporary registration ticket User Identification Screen Questions to identify eligible user Quit Yes Edit again Final Reminder Inform user the whole registration process is not completed yet and ask them to take the temporary registration ticket to the Counter. Input Screen For user to input/edit their personal details. The JULAC card registration process is not completed yet !!
EasyRegister – Design (Staff mode) Retrieve Patron Record By scan the temporary barcode on the registration ticket Ineligible user Display Patron Record Circulation staff verify user’s input data Eligible user Enable Patron Record By replace the temporary barcode with the permanent one and save the record. The JULAC card registration process is completed now !!
EasyRegister – Work Flow Prepare dummy Patron record (Back End) Verify patron details and Issue barcode to patron Input user personal details (Back End) Contact user to update their personal details (Back End) Prepare barcode (Back End) Old Practice User input their personal details and on-the-fly create patron record Verify patron details and Issue barcode to patron Contact user to update their personal details (Back End) Prepare barcode (Back End) New Practice By Staff By User
EasyRegister - Implementation • Development Tools (both User and Staff mode) • Fines Payment API • C# • Visual Studio .net • Hardware Requirements • 1 x Desktop PC with keyboard and mouse. • 1 x Thermal printer • For staff mode, no additional hardware is needed because the program is installed on the Circulation Counter machines.
EasyRegister - Installation One EasyRegister machine is installed next to the Circulation counter.
EasyRegister - Benefits Value-added use of an existing product – Fines Payment API Streamline the application procedures Reduce human error Up-to-date information can be obtained Complete patron information are input immediately Patron can make full use of their record immediately right after registration
EasyRegister – Future Development • EasyTicket: As suggested by the Librarian, we shall start a feasibility study of using Octopus Card as JULAC Library Card holders’ access and borrowing at CityU Library.
EasyRegister - Future Development We shall study: • The interface between Octopus card readers and our access control system • The interface between Octopus card readers and LMS system • The interface between Octopus card readers and different self-check systems • Development of programmes for the above interfaces
Conclusion Three principles of the Book of Changes (易經) : • 變易 change and transformation • 簡易 easy and simplicity • 不易 invariability: a constant definite order
Conclusion Apply to Library Services: • 變易 change : adapt to constant changes and transformation of the Library • 簡易 easy : EasyService Applications • 不易 invariability : User-oriented service model
Thank You! Run Run Shaw Library