We have received the biometric fingerprint scanners and software that we want to try. We have loaded the trial version of the software and plugged a scanner into one of our circulation desk computers.
You have to enroll people into the identification software, then you get their fingerprint scans to match up with their record, which includes their library card number. You leave the ID software running and minimized, and then you run your main application. In this case the main app would be the Evergreen staff client or PC Reservation. Then, when you're using those applications that require the card number and the cursor is in the field waiting for the number, placing a finger on the fingerprint scanner causes the card number to pop up in that field.
In Evergreen it's just as if you took their card and scanned it with the barcode scanners, only better because you know for certain it is the person and not just some card the person gave you. In PC Reservation it requires that the reservation be made at the Management Console rather than at the individual computers.
Anyway, it seems to work fine. We will only be testing this with a few people during the trial, and maybe not too many people afterward. In other words, I'm still thinking of having this as an exception rather than the rule. You can do a report in PINES that would give you a database of patrons to import to the fingerprint ID software--it would include last name, first name, middle, and a possibility of two categories--but really the only things that are important in that software are the fingerprint images and the card numbers, so importing a big enrollment database doesn't seem necessary to me at this point.
We are still requiring a PINES card for all transactions at RML, and if this method becomes an approved alternative, we would still require a card for the fingerprint enrollment that could then be used instead of a card.