"3M Branches Out with e-Readers for St. Paul Public Libraries"
3M Co.’s new cloud library system will touch down first in St. Paul.
With its own 3M-branded e-reader and software that’s compatible with many tablet devices, the Maplewood-based industrial manufacturer is looking to expand its presence in libraries.
The first step for that new business line comes next month, when 3M’s new e-book technology – including e-readers that can be checked out by patrons – is introduced in the St. Paul Public Library system.
While txtr is doing the software development for 3M’s cloud library system, 3M decided to contract with a different supplier for the actual 3M-branded reader, Mercer said.
St. Paul’s Sun Ray library branch – just blocks from 3M’s world headquarters – will be a focal point for the initial deployment of 3M’s cloud system. A 3M Discovery Terminal is set to be in place there by the middle of next month, [Tom] Mercer, [product manager for the 3M Cloud Library e-Book lending service] said.
From its broader line of library products, 3M has provided the Sun Ray branch with radio-frequency identification tags, security gates and other devices to give the branch the latest technology.
“We want (Sun Ray) to be a living lab,” for the 3M products, Mercer said. Because it’s so close by, 3M employees often are on site, and “our engineers interact with patrons and librarians.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.