Thursday, December 22, 2011

EnvisionWare Holiday Celebration: Exclusive Eyewitness Account!

Dear Friends,

John Himes, "Gentleman Farmer" and Director of Sales, arrives to his customary fanfare.
This week the Man in the Purple shirt offers you candid snapshots from the EnvisionWare Christmas Party, which was recently hosted at an undisclosed location somewhere in the state of Georgia. We had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays in our usual spirit of friendship and camaraderie, and extend that same warm feeling to all of you as well. Thank you for enabling us to continue doing what we love, and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

A gift for our Chief Executive Officer, expressing our appreciation and love.

Somewhere in this photo sits The Man in the Purple Shirt, incognito.

A highly decorated EnvisionWare Officer.

Mike Monk (right) declares the party a success.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

STOP THE PRESSES! eCommerce 3.0 is here!

I know a lot of you have been waiting for this for a very long time, so I'm going to avoid my usual preamble and just let you know that the new eCommerce is here. The only thing I will add is that I personally have installed this new version and am quite pleased with it.

EnvisionWare eCommerce Services® 3.0 was released November 30, 2011 and is available via the Customer Center.

Please see the Release Notes for a list of all the latest enhancements.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cheryl Morgan Appointed Director (AKA "Supreme Commander") of Professional Services

Those of you who have been with me from the beginning, who have followed me from the heady, expectant days of youth to the chastened threshold of middle age--those who, in other words, visit this page on a regular basis to catch the latest goings-on from EnvisionWare, Inc.--will probably have figured out by now that The Man in the Purple Shirt works for the Professional Services Department. You may have heard of--or even known--Field Commander Kristin Sjulson, who led our fine department through many a bracing winter campaign, or, before and sometimes beside her, the gallant Nova Chase, who now heads the EnvisionWare Departments of Support and Quality Assurance with grace and candor. Well, once again, a new leaf has been turned over (as the old-timers say), and I am here to announce a NEW Director (or, as I like to say, Supreme Commander) of Professional Services: the brave and bold Cheryl Morgan. All hyperbole aside, Ms. Morgan is an exceptionally qualified choice to lead our department, and my colleagues and I are very much looking forward to working with her as we enter our next phase of delivering to, and partnering with, public libraries worldwide. Here is the official press release:

Atlanta, GA, November 28, 2011 – EnvisionWare, a leading provider of self‐service and
library efficiency solutions, announced today the appointment of Cheryl Morgan as Director
of Professional Services.

In this role, Cheryl will oversee customer implementations for EnvisionWare hardware and
software products. She and her team will also work with customers to determine the best
configurations, settings, and options based on their needs and goals.

“For technology to work as efficiently and effectively as possible, we must work in
partnership with our customers to understand their objectives and challenges,” said
EnvisionWare COO Scott Fothergill. “Cheryl brings practical, hands‐on experience with
implementing and managing library technology. We are proud to have her leading our
professional services team.”

Prior to joining EnvisionWare, Cheryl spent nine years at Forsyth County Public library in
Georgia, where she was Assistant Director for Information Technology. Before that, she
spent three years as Library Systems Specialist and Network Field Engineer for Interface
Electronics. Cheryl has also worked in academic libraries, serving as Technical Services
Librarian for Howard Community College in Maryland and Catalog and Systems Librarian
for Trinity College (now Trinity University) in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of
Science in Library Science (MSLS) from Clarion University in Pennsylvania and a Master of
Science in Administration (MSA) from Trinity College.

“I get great satisfaction in helping libraries leverage technology to provide better service to
their communities,” said Morgan. “I look forward to working with our customers to help
them accomplish their customer service goals.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Gentleman Farmer" John Himes Crowned Director of EnvisionWare Sales in Private Ceremony

It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that my dear friend, the erudite "gentleman farmer" John Himes has ascended to the hallowed post of Director of Sales for EnvisionWare. As befitting the solemn and powerful occasion, Mr. Himes was crowned last week in a private ceremony attended by family, friends, and an elite cadre of respected journalists.

Okay, okay...The Man in the Purple Shirt will concede that he is getting a little carried away in the spirit of the moment, but...anyone who has dealt with EnvisionWare for any extended period of time has probably come in contact with John Himes, and can therefore echo my sentiment that this man is universally loved. So...your humble scribe will now get out of the way and let the official announcement speak for itself:

Atlanta, GA, November 9, 2011 - EnvisionWare, a leading provider of self-­‐service and library efficiency solutions, announced today the appointment of John Himes as Director of Sales and Library Business Development. Previously, John served as manager of sales for EnvisionWare’s Western Region.

“John has consistently served as an advocate for our customers to ensure we meet and exceed their expectations for service and responsiveness,” said EnvisionWare COO Scott Fothergill. “We welcome John to the management team and look forward to working together to deliver a stellar customer experience throughout our organization.”

In this new role, John will assume Al Coalla’s responsibilities in overseeing sales. He will also have expanded responsibilities for creating business development strategies and processes to support EnvisionWare’s broader plan, which is focused on customer service.

“John has established strong and loyal relationships with our customers and prospective customers. He also has a proven track record of responsiveness and a deep understanding of customer needs,” said CEO Mike Monk. “He is the right person to lead our sales team and make certain our business development efforts are in alignment with our company’s strategic vision of providing the best service, products and customer satisfaction within the industry.”

Before joining EnvisionWare in 2004, John spent two years with Digital Access Control, an EnvisionWare reseller. He also spent ten years at Xerox Corporation as Practice Director for Xerox Connect, the company’s technology consulting division.

“I’ve spent the last ten years getting to know our customers and prospective customers in the West so that we could offer products and solutions that best meet their unique challenges and needs,” said Himes. “In this new role, I look forward to partnering with our customers at a national level, and to helping libraries become more efficient and essential within their communities.”

About EnvisionWare
EnvisionWare is a leading provider of self‐service and library‐efficiency solutions. Today, over ten thousand libraries use EnvisionWare products to enrich their service offerings and to empower their customers to do more for themselves. EnvisionWare offers twenty‐two systems, including PC Reservation® computer management, LPT:One™ print management, and OneStop™ for self‐service circulation. For more information about EnvisionWare, visit

Monday, November 14, 2011

EnvisionWare announces Expanded Customer Service Resources

For Immediate Release

Kathryn Spier-Miller

EnvisionWare Announces Expanded Customer Service Resources
First Phase of Strategic Plan Focused on Service

Atlanta, GA, November 4, 2011 – EnvisionWare, a leading provider of self-service and library efficiency solutions, announced today an expansion of the company’s field support technical resources. The addition of 200 independent field technicians is the first phase of a strategic plan focused on improved customer service and satisfaction.

EnvisionWare's global support staff operates from Company service locations throughout the United States and Australia. The new field technicians will supplement existing US field staff. The technicians are trained to troubleshoot and service a full range of hardware from the EnvisionWare Coin/Bill Acceptor (CBA) to sophisticated sorting systems. EnvisionWare employees will continue to serve as the primary point of service and advice for customers. 

According to EnvisionWare COO Scott Fothergill, the plan to expand the company’s field support resources has been in development for several months and is part of a broader strategy focused on customer service. The expanded support model went through rigorous testing and piloting to ensure the results met and exceeded expectations for customer service and technical support. 

“Our team has an incredible depth of knowledge about our products and a long history of working in libraries and with our customers,” said CEO Mike Monk. “By expanding our technical services in the field, our staff can continue to offer personalized service, backed by a responsive and skilled technical support team.”

About EnvisionWare
EnvisionWare is a leading provider of self-service and library efficiency solutions. Today, over ten thousand libraries use EnvisionWare products to enrich the service offerings of their library and to empower their customers to do more for themselves. EnvisionWare offers twenty-two systems, including PC Reservation® computer management, LPT:One™ print management, and OneStop™ for self-service circulation. For more information about EnvisionWare, visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Customer and Product Updates

King County Library System Selects EnvisionWare
KCLS, voted Library of the Year 2011 by Library Journal and Cengage, has selected EnvisionWare's computer and print management solutions, PC Reservation® and LPT:One™. "PC & Print Reservation is one of the most impactful and visible systems to our library patrons," said Jed Moffitt, director of information technology services. "With so many technology initiatives on our plate, we needed an established, reliable, and mature system with a team we could count on. EnvisionWare has an outstanding reputation for customer service and dependability. Their system is also flexible enough to handle our unique technology needs, including our open source ILS.”

Authentication and Accounting Module (AAM)™ - Product Release v. 3.17
This new version of AAM provides compatibilty with Server 2003/2008/2008R2, Vista and Windows 7 on 32 and 64-bit platforms.   Registry settings will automatically migrate into a preference file -- the configuration interface remains unchanged.  This new version is designed to automatically support any released version of MySQL as well as MS-Jet/Access.

LPT:One™ Print Cost Control - Service Pack Release v. 4.7.2
The 4.7.2 Service Pack incorporates the latest hotfixes for version 4.7 and it adopts the latest version of EnvisionWare System Monitor, which is now protected against downgrade and designed in conformance to the certified file structure for the latest versions of Windows.

What's Ahead

Over the course of the next three months EnvisionWare will deliver several new products and updates:
    · EnvisionWare eCommerce Services™ v. 3.0
Includes new processors and multiple implementation architectures, major system enhancements including multiple methods of controlling itemized fines as well as improved handling of itemized fine payment for touch screen kiosks.
    · EnvisionWare Media Case Controller (EMC2)™ v. 251
Delivers speed, improved user interface and system recovery capabilities for customers with Clear-Vu and Kwik Cases.
    · EnvisionWare RFID Suite™ v 2.3
Provides support for additional proprietary vendor data models including older models in order to assist customers that are migrating from other systems to EnvisionWare.   Delivers the latest interface for EnvisionWare Media Case Controller (Spectrum and Kwik Models).
A new and improved user interface for staff offers more intuitive operation, keyboard interaction and self healing workflow for incomplete sets.  There are speed, workflow and other enhancements that affect operations with most major ILS commercial and open source platforms.
    · OneStop™ Service Pack v. 1.10
Includes fixes and improvements for issues reported by customers and is compatible with version 2.3 of the EnvisionWare RFID Suite
    · PC Reservation® Service Pack v. 3.5.11
Major performance enhancements are the focus of this service pack along with a number of improvements requested by customers
    · PC Reservation® V4 Update
New options for control menu layout, font size and default locations and other system improvements requested by customers
    · New EnvisionWare Conversion Options
Complementing the current choices for the powerful Mobile Station and the kit that adds conversion to existing staff stations, EnvisionWare will deliver a new Portable Conversion Cart in three models: One includes a table computer, another offers a laptop and the third uses existing customer laptops.  All Carts provide 8 hours of in-stack battery life, automated tag dispensing and rapid conversion capabilities.  EnvisionWare has recently introduced another new option for turnkey tag installation/conversion which permits worry-free migration to RFID at remarkable speed and with a 100% performance guarantee.

There are more updates and releases planned than are listed here.  Starting today, product release announcements will also be posted on the home page of the EnvisionWare Customer Center.

Every day more than 10,000 libraries world wide use EnvisionWare solutions to improve self service and library efficiency.

To read more about these products visit http:/  Customers can download new releases from the Customer Center.  If you would like to learn more please complete a contact request and one of our consultants will respond to your needs.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Green Gold Library System Selects EnvisionWare for RFID

Kathryn Spier-Miller

Green Gold Library System Selects EnvisionWare for RFID

Atlanta, GA, September 1, 2011 – EnvisionWare, a leading provider of self service and library efficiency solutions, announced today that Green Gold Library System in Louisiana has selected EnvisionWare as their RFID provider. This is an expansion of their existing EnvisionWare services, which include EnvisionWare’s computer and print management solutions, PC Reservation® and LPT:One™.

Green Gold Library System, which circulates approximately 2.5 million items per year, includes eleven parish libraries: Bienville Parish, Bossier Parish, Caddo Parish, Claiborne Parish, DeSoto Parish, Grant Parish, Lincoln Parish, Natchitoches Parish, Sabine Parish, Webster Parish, and Winn Parish. 

“The decision to select EnvisionWare for RFID was unanimous,” said Ron Heezen, director of the Green Gold System and executive director of Shreve Memorial Library. “The company has an outstanding reputation for customer service and a track record of solid technology solutions. We visited with EnvisionWare customers throughout the country, and their seamless and efficient RFID implementations were just what we ‘envisioned’ for our own libraries.”

Caddo Parish, which includes Shreve Memorial Library and twenty-one branch locations, and Bossier Parish, which includes eight branch locations, are the first of the libraries to move forward on the EnvisionWare RFID contract. Installation will include RFID tags and conversion stations, self-service circulation, inventory management, and automated materials handling (AMH). 

As part of their review process, Shreve utilized a proprietary ROI modeling system to determine if RFID was right for them. The library also identified and implemented alternative revenue streams, like the PeoplePlus program, to help offset the costs for such library innovations.  PeoplePlus, which is accessible through the library’s home page, is a discount card program for prescriptions, dental and vision care, and other health-care costs. The library receives a portion of the revenue generated through the program, while providing the community with an alternative to the rising cost of health care.

“During these tough economic times, the library needs to operate as cost-effectively as possible, while still providing outstanding service to our community,” said Heezen. “RFID enables us to increase efficiencies on the back end, so that we can focus on providing outstanding resources and support to our community.”

“Our team is dedicated to making certain our products and customer service are the best in the industry,” said EnvisionWare Vice President Mike Monk. “We could not have asked for better references from our customers, and are thrilled that Green Gold has selected us as the RFID provider of choice for their system.”

About EnvisionWareEnvisionWare is a leading provider of self-service and library-efficiency solutions. Today, over ten thousand libraries use EnvisionWare products to enrich their service offerings and to empower their customers to do more for themselves. EnvisionWare offers twenty-two systems, including PC Reservation® computer management, LPT:One™ print management, and OneStop™ for self-service circulation. For more information about EnvisionWare, visit

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

LPT:One 3x: We're Going to the End of the Line (But It's All Right)

Does anyone remember the Edison wax cylinders? I'm guessing not, as they were already past their market peak by 1915 and officially went out of production in 1929. But in their day, those wax cylinders were the height of recording technology. The great Thomas Edison himself ushered in the era of home audio in 1877 by warbling “Mary Had a Little Lamb” into a cylinder recorder, and by the turn of the century you could pick up all the hottest tracks by Caruso and Ma Tiger Lily at your nearest general store.

Eventually the wax cylinder was replaced by the phonograph disc (which, in the Man in the Purple Shirt's opinion, has never been surpassed—but that's a subject for another blog), and the world moved on. Whatever passed for “support” in those days for the wax cylinder player was discontinued after 1929.

EnvisionWare is coming to a similar cutoff point with regards to its support of the LPT:One™ 3x line, which was officially replaced by LPT:One™ 4x back in 2006 (a lifetime ago in the software world). We have continued to support the Legacy (3x) product in subsequent years, but in this current world of Windows 7 and 64-bit, it is no longer a practical system. 

For those customers who may still be using LPT:One “Classic,” as I like to call it, we have prepared a document that outlines the superiority of 4x and some options for helping make the (inevitable) switch as painless as possible. Welcome to the future!

The Past
The Future

Monday, August 15, 2011

EnvisionWare Announces Conclusion of Patent Litigation With 3M

Duluth, GA - August 12, 2011 - 3M Company and EnvisionWare, Inc. have entered into
a confidential settlement agreement that completely resolves all issues raised in the
lawsuit between them filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on June
22, 2009.

In the dispute, 3M sought damages by claiming that EnvisionWare infringed three of
3M’s U.S. patents relating to use of RFID and related technology in libraries, and
EnvisionWare responded by alleging that the 3M patents were not infringed and were

About EnvisionWare:
EnvisionWare is a leading supplier of self service and efficiency solutions for libraries
around the world. The Company serves more than 10,000 libraries with technologies
ranging from PC Reservation® computer management to turnkey RFID systems. The
Company operates from its headquarters near Atlanta, Georgia and from an Asia-Pacific
center in Adelaide, Australia. Sales and support services are also delivered from
regional locations around the United States and from Strategic Partners in Canada,
Europe, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Malaysia.

Press contact:
Michael J. Monk
Vice President
2855 Premiere Parkway | Suite A
Duluth, GA 30097-5201
+1 678-382-6590

EnvisionWare and PC Reservation are registered trademarks of EnvisionWare, Inc. 3M
is a trademark of 3M Company.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Product Announcement: Self Service and Staff eCommerce for III

EnvisionWare is pleased to announce a new service that brings self service fine payment at kiosks and via the web, and staff financial management and credit card processing to Innovative libraries.

Please review the Protocol Translation Service Product Announcement for more information and, if I can be of further assistance, please contact me at 800.216.8370 or complete this information request.

For detailed information about the individual products, please visit the financial management section of our website.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New EnvisionWare Website is now live!

In days of yore, The Man in The Purple Shirt was sometimes asked why EnvisionWare's webpage was such a confusing, Byzantine maze, crammed overfull with (sometimes out-of-date) text, and bracketed by links that spiraled off into the four horizons.

Well, that old webpage has gone the way of the Byzantine Empire itself: impressive in its day but superseded by a leaner, smarter, better-looking and more useful replacement. Yes, it is time to unveil the new improved! This has been in the works for some time, and we are very proud of the end result.

You will notice links to both our Facebook page and this very blog, as well as a link to Mike Monk's blog. (Mike Monk, by the way, is not The Man in the Purple Shirt. It's time to put that particular conspiracy theory to rest). Most importantly, access to the Customer Center has been significantly streamlined. So why don't you mosey on over there and let us know what you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

EnvisionWare Demonstrates ISO‐28560 Encoding at ALA

Atlanta, GA. As the NISO working group prepares to meet and respond to feedback about the Draft NISO Revised Recommended Practice for RFID in U.S. Libraries, EnvisionWare prepares for release of a new RFID Encoding and Tag Query Solution.

According to Mike Monk, EnvisionWare Vice President, “the new software is built on our open API‐based RFID suite and offers a completely redesigned encoding and validation experience. As in the past we remain committed to customer choice, and our new system offers versatile support for ISO‐28560‐2, ISO‐28560‐3, and the most widely deployed open model, the Danish Data Model. Our customers around the globe will be able to adopt a profile that is specific to their needs, and our supplier partners and RFID encoding vendors will be able to select from an unlimited list of library‐specific profiles. As in the past, the new system will continue to measure productivity.”

Monk also explained that EnvisionWare’s system would continue to support the open database model implemented in many of EnvisionWare’s products and will write encoding history to a central database, which is often used to reconcile inventory as part of an encoding project. Customers can set a preference to use MSSQL, MySQL, Postgre, Oracle and other platforms.

Incorporating feedback from EnvisionWare RFID‐enabled libraries around the globe, the system offers an improved workflow, real‐time onscreen encoding results, and enhancements to leverage the touch screen supplied as part of the EnvisionWare Mobile Station.

Customers currently using the Danish Data Model can continue to encode with that model. Those libraries selecting ISO‐28560‐2 in the US and Asia Pacific can adapt templates to create a library‐specific encoding profile. According to the Draft US Recommended Practice, libraries can select from twenty‐four fields in the US “‐2 Profile.” Many Australian libraries have adopted specific profiles by region. Libraries choosing to encode with ISO‐28560‐3 can adopt fields beyond those originally available in the Danish Data Model.

As in the past, EnvisionWare RFID circulation solutions will continue to concurrently support most of the vendor‐proprietary models as well as the new ISO standards and the Danish model. “Because of the installed base and the need for interoperability of materials, we envision a continued need to support multiple models for the foreseeable future,” said Monk. “To that end, we have again improved the performance of our RFID software and worked with our suppliers to enhance hardware performance so that we can continue to offer stellar performance regardless of the number of models in use at any given library,” he added.

Libraries were encouraged to read the document posted by NISO and to ask questions and make comments in order to get broad feedback and to ensure widespread appeal of a US Profile. Now that the comment period has closed, the Working Group will convene to address all of the comments and then compile a final Recommended Practice for publication. The final product release will occur after the adoption of the Recommended Practice.

EnvisionWare is a leading supplier of self service and library efficiency solutions and serves more than 10,000 libraries around the globe. The Company operates headquarters near Atlanta, GA and in Adelaide, South Australia as well as from regional locations around the US.

Visit EnvisionWare at Booth #3132 or contact the Company for more information:
Michael J. Monk
Vice President
EnvisionWare, Inc.
2855 Premiere Parkway | Suite A
Duluth, GA 30097‐5201

EnvisionWare at ALA 2011

NEWS FLASH: EnvisionWare is in the magnificent city of New Orleans as we speak, unveiling a number of exciting new products for the annual ALA (American Library Association) conference. Below are some tasty selections from our recent press release:

The Company will demonstrate EnvisionWare 1Pad, a new, integrated RFID Reader and Unidirectional Pad that looks like a large iPad. The new design provides detection only directly above the pad surface and features an integrated and more powerful RFID reader, which improves media detection and circulation. The All‐In‐One design eliminates messy cables and ferrite shields and dramatically simplifies installation and support. In an upcoming software update, the new diagnostic system in the 1‐Pad will provide an onscreen alert to staff such as an Environmental Alert that indicates a user may have detuned the system by placing a keyboard on the pad surface. The 1‐Pad offers a new price point that is lower than the former, separately priced components.

A new RFID LTag will be deliverable at ALA that brings the highest quality performance at a remarkable new price. EnvisionWare’s standard tag has measured performance at up to 15% greater distances when compared to many tags in use at libraries, which translates to higher detection rates through the gates. In the past that performance came at a slight premium. A new, library‐specific engineering design results in identical 2X*GEN performance at a price that’s hard to beat. EnvisionWare is accepting orders for delivery in two weeks.

Earlier this year members of the Sonoma County Library staff collaborated with EnvisionWare on a comprehensive list of workflow and interface improvements for the EnvisionWare RFID Software Suite™. The Company will release a new generation of the Suite at the conference that is faster and more intuitive, and which features a host of usability improvements designed by circulation and cataloging staff. New updates for the Innovative Item Status API are incorporated, as are new features for the EnvisionWare Media Case Controller™, a system that checks out and unlocks media in Clear‐Vu and Kwik Case media cases in one step.

EnvisionWare will also demonstrate EnvisionWare eCommerce Services™ Version 3.0 fine payment and account revalue software, which expands the global list of credit card acquirers and adds new customer options for processing architecture. Four different architectural implementations will be available along with more than thirty choices for card processing.

The Company will also release a new product for delivery this month that will couple the new eCommerce Services release and EnvisionWare’s Staff Transaction Station (STS)™, a library point of sale software system, to the Innovative Millennium platform.

Visit EnvisionWare at Booth #3132 or contact the Company for more information:

Michael J. Monk
Vice President
EnvisionWare, Inc.
2855 Premiere Parkway | Suite A
Duluth, GA 30097‐5201

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Ghosts of Libraries Past, Present, and Future; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New Technology

It's a closely guarded secret that your humble scribe--The Man in the Purple Shirt--is a bit of a Luddite in his personal life. You have probably already read in this blog about EnvisionWare's forthcoming Library of the Future, but did you know about the Library of the Past?

The Man in the Purple Shirt's "Library of the Past" (Yes, those are vinyl records)
That's the edifice I've had constructed in my home that houses my record and book collections (which happen to include more than a few items picked up at Friends of the Library sales around the country). Officially, my wife and I have declared a moratorium on the collection as our shelves are now full, but...if you work at a library and are currently weeding any old volumes of Faulkner or Hemingway from your stacks, I'd like to hear from you!

Yes, I'm a fan of old-fashioned, handsomely made books. They're my way of unplugging after working with computers all day. But I hasten to add here that I speak only for myself in this matter, not EnvisionWare, Inc. One of my colleagues at the company acquired an Amazon Kindle a few years ago; like me, he travels often and reads often, but in his case he has found the e-reader to be quite conducive to his on-the-go lifestyle. I, on the hand, seem to always be lugging several heavy books wherever I go. Which of us is wiser?

It goes without saying that this is an interesting time for public libraries. The general population is only now beginning to catch on to the fact that libraries are no longer the quiet, nearly empty book-stuffed mausoleums they once were. Several times in recent years, I've encountered families who, due to the recession, have turned to the library as a cheap way to meet their entertainment needs. They are always astonished to see the number of DVDs and CDs on offer, not to mention the banks of computers available for public internet use. "Wow," their expressions seem to say, "the library is"

So where is this world of libraries ultimately headed, and what place do physical books have in it? EnvisionWare is officially neutral on that question. We offer top-to-bottom RFID solutions that enable more efficient circulation of physical media--which include books. But if all physical media where to go away tomorrow, we would no doubt be equally involved in whatever would take its place. We respond to the needs of libraries, plain and simple.

You'll hear lots of pundits predicting the imminent end of the book as we know it, but their words are meaningless; the survival or demise of physical books is determined solely by the public's needs. If you want to "save" physical books (as I do), keep reading them, keep buying them, and keep checking them out from your library. E-readers are not the enemy; I've come to believe that they can peacefully coexist with my beloved books. The real enemy is--and has always been--not reading at all. That is the real sign of the decline of the world as we know it.

It's useful to remember that books themselves are technology. The famed Library of Alexandria was filled floor-to-ceiling with scrolls. And before that people used animal skins, and before that it was cave walls. We move and adapt. It's what we're good at. And we choose what we wish to keep and what we wish to discard.

I have observed exciting and profound changes at public libraries over the past decade. They have become thriving community centers, outstanding resources for job seekers, and safe and enriching environments for teenagers who might otherwise be getting in trouble. Your local library is a cost-effective alternative to Netflix, a great place to peruse magazines and discover new music, and still the best place in town to load up on books for the rainy weekend.

EnvisionWare is committed to these institutions that do so much to put knowledge in the hands of the people. We serve the libraries and the libraries serve you. So, ultimately, it is you who will map their, and our, future.

I've already got my "Library of the Past"; in fact, I'm sitting across from it as I write these words. But now I'm genuinely excited about the Library of the Future. Are you?

Monday, April 25, 2011

On Giving and Random Acts of Kindness

Regular readers of this blog will by now have surmised that The Man in the Purple Shirt can sometimes play and loose with the term "weekly." Well, a lot has been going on at EnvisionWare, Inc. over these last few months. In March we moved into a beautiful new facility which will eventually house--in addition to our offices--the Library of the Future (more on this in upcoming posts). In April, we released eagerly anticipated updates of our PC Reservation® software. As for me personally, I have been traveling on behalf of the company and have recently visited/worked in some beautiful libraries on both the east and west coasts. So--that's why you haven't heard from me in a while.

But that's all beside the point of today's blog. The following was originally published in our internal newsletter by someone I work with whom I will call a "Voice of EnvisionWare." I was quite moved by the piece and asked the individual if I might edit and present it to a larger audience via The Weekly EnvisionWare. It does not pertain to our company per se but rather to larger concerns of love, giving, and taking care of one another. I present it to you in the spirit of the season, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'm proud to work for a company that harbors these ideals.

The Gift

About a month ago I was eating at a fast food restaurant in an area that was not like the area around our office in Duluth.  Someone crept up quietly behind me and asked for money to buy food.  I had no extra change.  In fact, I didn't have any cash on me other than an emergency large bill I carry at all times. So I said, "Sorry, I don't have anything on me."  I never looked directly at her.   I had been taught while living in New York that you're not supposed to look at people on the street and you are definitely not to make eye contact.

She moved by quietly and the clerk behind the counter caught a glimpse of her at which time she was asked to leave.   I sat there feeling really bad about myself.  I have so much to be thankful for and this person simply needed some food.  I quickly finished and headed to the nearest Quik Trip to get cash from the ATM.  I drove back to the area to look for her.  I noticed another fast food place just up the street and headed for the lot.  Looking through the glass I could see her hovering near the back of the restaurant.  I parked and walked in.  Her eyes met mine and she quickly fled out the side door, hurrying as quickly as she could to get away from me.  Did she think I was with the police?   I ran after her and she ran faster.  I said quite loudly "Maam, I want to help you."    She stopped in her tracks and I handed her a $20.  She went directly back into the restaurant and I watched as she ordered food and then sat down to eat.

I did a retrospective.  I realized that many times before I've said, "Sorry, I have no extra cash."   Looking back, that's not really true.  Whether or not I had cash on me, I had access to money.  I also thought about the desperation that must exist for people who must hide in the shadows, hoping for a handout.  She was nowhere near a shelter.  I thought about the fear she must have felt when she thought I might harm her.   I promised myself that day that I would never turn away from someone that approached me on the street.   Even as little as a dollar can buy someone a hamburger and while I may not be rich, I eat well, live well, and fear not for my safety, next meal, or my employment.  I have it good.  Quite good.   I would make it a point to look a homeless person in the eye, and keep sufficient bills accessible so that I could offer a handout when asked.

Then I went to San Francisco.  SFO has the highest per capita homeless population in the United States.  In the tourist areas you may be asked 5 - 10 times for a handout in about a block or two of walking.  Some homeless people gather together on corners.  If you walk later in the evening, you'll see people crawled into corners, covered by torn cardboard and huddling plastic bags of their worldly possessions.  It's heartbreaking.

Keeping to my personal commitment, I had bills in my pocket.  As I walked from Bart to the conference hotel I was asked for help.  I gave a man a dollar.   I walked another hundred feet and did the same thing again.  I did it twice more in two blocks.   Each time I looked the person squarely in the face, smiled, and without reservation gave a handout.  The last man asked for more.  I gave him more.  Not one of these people said thank you.   I arrived at the hotel and at first thought, how ungrateful.   And after pondering this for a while I realized that they've probably run out of gratitude.  Whatever caused these people to be homeless, whether mental issues, drug or alcohol abuse, or the inability to get a job, they were at the bottom rung of their lives.  I then imagined how many times each day they must look for help and I wondered how many people look away or simply refuse to acknowledge their presence.
Then I realized that I had somehow decided that I was exchanging handouts.  I wanted to help someone, but I wanted an affirmation in return, a simple thank you.   That did not define selfless giving.  That defined barter.   I lowered my expectations and continued my week at the conference.  I looked people in the eye, gave them a dollar or few dollars depending on what I had available, and did not wait for anything in return.   I felt sad each time it happened -- and it happened a lot.   After a few days in the city, a lady asked for money to buy food.   She had a small child with her, probably about four or five.  I reached into my pocket and gave her all the bills I had; I'm guessing it was around $35.    She started crying, grabbed my hand, knelt down and thanked God, and ran away with her child into a market to buy food.
I felt good.  I was still sad about the thought of so many people suffering and I soon realized that these were not the least fortunate people in the world.  At least they were in an environment where they might get a handout.  The city will care for them when it gets cold.   Charities are available to provide some assistance.   But I felt good that in some very small way these people had made me a better person.    

I realized that I've lied in the past.  I've said that I had nothing when I did.  I've ignored people because I thought that was the best way to deal with it.   The fact that I am so fortunate and failed to act makes me feel like I've let people down.    I've heard the stories and the statements - "Let 'em get a job." Or, "They did it to themselves."  But I know that this is not always the case.  I know that there are real people in trouble that may be suffering through no fault of their own. 

These people gave me a gift.  They taught me that genuine charity expects nothing in return.  That even the smallest help can make a difference in someone's life.  That it's just plain indecent to ignore people.   And that I cannot use my perspective on life to judge the perspective others have.

How does this relate to the industry we work in?  I'm not here to preach or necessarily encourage charity.  But I am here to explain that there are things that can change our perspective.  We cannot be so egotistical as to believe that our viewpoint about eating, money, the world, charity, kindness or anything else is the same for others.  My personal empathy has grown and I just hope that I can keep it up and that I can continue to translate that empathy into personal growth. The library industry is one of service; and caring about those we serve, whether customers or people we help on the street, translates to unexpected growth and rewards --- as long as you don't do it for those reasons.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

EnvisionWare is Moving!

We've outgrown our US Home of the past six years so we are moving to a new, larger high tech facility later this month.

Once we get all of the trolls unpacked and the books cataloged and on the shelves, we'll be opening the Library of the Future along with our new seventy-five seat auditorium.   Inside the new space there's plenty of room for guests as well as lots of space to support our continued growth.  We hope you'll plan on visiting with us in the coming weeks to see the latest in self service and library efficiency solutions.

All NEW contact information effective 28 March 2011:
New Address:
EnvisionWare, Inc.
2855 Premiere Parkway
Suite A
Duluth, GA 30097-5201

New Telephone Numbers:678-382-6500  Main Voice
678-382-6600  Direct Support Line
800-216-8370  Toll Free
678-382-6501  Fax

All of our extension numbers will change as we adopt direct dialing for all US offices and employees.

Direct Dial Departments:
800-216-8370 Ext. 6530 toll free to Operations (Accounting and Logistics)
800-216-8370 Ext. 6550 toll free to Sales
800-216-8370 Ext. 6600 toll free to Support
800-216-8370 Ext. 6650 toll free to Professional Services

Direct Dial Sales Team: 
678-382-6551 or 800-216-8370 Ext. 6551  Al Coalla
678-382-6552 or 800-216-8370 Ext. 6552  John Himes 
678-382-6553 or 800-216-8370 Ext. 6553  Kristen Artines
678-382-6554 or 800-216-8370 Ext. 6554  Wendy Bratcher
678-382-6555 or 800-216-8370 Ext. 6555  Steve Kraus 
678-382-6556 or 800-216-8370 Ext. 6556  Bryan Pasteryk

Possible Service Disruptions:
The move begins Thursday, 24 March and continues through Tuesday, 29 March.  Response times from all departments may be slow all day Friday, 25 March and Monday, 28 March.
Customer Center - Normal operation throughout the move
Telephone system - Possible telephone interruptions March 25: 5:00pm - 7:00pm (24x7 service unaffected)
Special Support Request:  Please defer upgrades on 25 March and 28 March if possible since resumption of computing and other services may be erratic during this period.  We will accommodate critical customer needs during all normal support hours and will provide 24x7 SLA response times for Platinum and PlatinumPlus subscribers.
Note to vendors:  Inside delivery is no longer required.  The new facilities have several loading docks to accept large pallets of RFID tags and equipment deliveries.  Receiving will be closed on Friday, 25 March.
If you anticipate any special needs for the period during the move please contact the  department in advance using the current telephone numbers: 678-584-5911 or 800-216-8370.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

EnvisionWare Unveils Plans for New North American Headquarters

EnvisionWare, a leading provider of self service and library efficiency solutions, announced today that construction is under way on a new, larger, high tech headquarters facility.

The new facility, one block from the current location, provides expanded office space for the growing Company that provides advanced technology solutions to libraries around the world.  In addition to more offices, the facility features a seventy-five seat auditorium that can accommodate large groups of users for training and other events, a large warehouse with multiple loading docks, climate controlled storage facilities for RFID tags and system staging and additional group meeting rooms.

At the heart of the building is a new Library of the Future.  Mike Monk, Company Vice President said, “Our new library will feature the latest technology in use by libraries today as well as leading edge technologies for tomorrow.  We are creating an environment for testing, learning and sharing.  The facility will be a fully functional, RFID-enabled corporate library that will also serve as a public or academic environment where we can replicate the current and future plans of our customers.  The facility will be ever ready to deliver an end-to-end self service and library efficiency experience for employees, customers and partners.”  EnvisionWare is working with library vendors to create a showcase and with librarians and consultants to discover the direction libraries will take in the future.

This is the Company’s fourth move in a decade.  Each move has represented a significant increase in space.  This move more than doubles the size of the Company’s facilities.  “This time we have built-in expansion room to accommodate future growth,” said Rob Walsh, President.  “By securing more warehouse space than is necessary for us today, we have areas that can be easily converted to additional offices and work spaces.  It has been difficult to plan for growth because we continue to exceed our goals.   While we work continuously to operate more efficiently, we need sufficient office space to ensure that we remain responsive to all of our customers' needs.”

“Employees are anxious to have more workspace and all of us look forward to having new customer meeting spaces,” offered Scott Fothergill, Executive Director.  “During my career at Columbus Metropolitan Library I worked as part of the management team to plan the relocation of several library branches as well as a new administration building.  That background will help us minimize any downtime or interruption of services to our customers.  We are using those experiences to create a customer-focused facility that inspires innovation, learning and outreach.”

EnvisionWare is the publisher of PC Reservation®, the world’s leading public computer management software, as well as systems for print and copy control, RFID library management, and financial control systems.  Over 10,000 libraries around the world use EnvisionWare products.

For more information:

Michael J Monk
Vice President
800-216-8370 Ext 201