Thursday, April 18, 2013

App of the Week: Follett Destiny

I frequently use Destiny Quest on my iPad to access our catalog while I am in the stacks with students.  It's just so.... portable... convenient... and easy. 

I love the feature that provides suggested titles - a life saver when the requested title is already checked out or has been mis-shelved.  

The idea of an app for the circulation side of things has been on my wish list for quite sometime.  Just think... book check-out IN the stacks, IN the hallways or staff rooms, IN the classroom... everywhere things change hands.

Follett Destiny

In all honesty, it is a little embarrassing to be so late to the table with this post, but I was so thrilled to finally discover this app existed, I just had to share... 

The Follett Destiny app was first released last September, and while I am not sure how I missed the news, I know I am not the only librarian who was busy starting a new school year, settling into a new role, learning hundreds of new things each day.  If there were blog posts, LM_Net discussions, or Tweets about the release, I missed them all.

Until last week...

I stumbled upon this app while reading what's new in the recent upgrade to Destiny 11.0.

While still somewhat limited, the Follett Destiny app does the basics beautifully.  You can:
  • Check books in and out by keying in or scanning barcodes
  • Find patrons by scanning library card OR searching by name or id #
  • Check patron status
  • Check item status

This is not an app to replace the traditional platform of computer and barcode scanner.  When checking out multiple books, one must tap on "scan" for each book.  Tap, scan, tap, scan.  Not really a problem, but an extra step I am not used to doing.  Completing checkout for an entire class of students with multiple books each will obviously take longer than our existing circ desk approach, but scanning the odd book outside of the library has become much, much more convenient.

Another thing I have found is that I need to close the app when I leave it.  If I return to Follett Destiny without relaunching, some of the features do not work.  Closing and relaunching solves this.
After more use of the app, I realized the problem was me, not the app.  You must clear patrons (one tap) between individuals, otherwise it thinks you are searching books.

I read in the app store reviews that some users would like an inventory tab.  While this would be a nice feature, bear in mind that items "checked in" during an inventory will be marked "found"... which makes it possible to inventory via the app.  However, you will have to tap "scan" between items, and there will be no beeps to alert you when a book is misshelved.

Have you used this app?  What do you think of it?


  1. I have the app, but when I pull up a patron I don't have a "SCAN" button, just a "GO" button. Is there some intermediate step I need to do to set up the camera as a scanner?

  2. Your iPad must be 3rd generation or newer. I encountered this as well, thinking we could have multiple stations, but the iPad's on the cart are too old.

  3. I have a question. I would like to scan ISBNs while out in the world to see if particular books I'm interested in are approved. WILL this app scan ISBNs? Has anyone tried this?

    1. This app is set up to scan your patrons' cards and your collection's barcodes. If you want to scan ISBN's to compile a list of books for approval, I would use the Titlewave app.

  4. I also have a question, or need clarification about how you are doing inventory with this app. Are you only using the check-in feature? If so, how do you get reports on what is missing, or mis-shelved, etc?

  5. I don't do inventory with this app. Some reviewers commented they would like this feature.

    However, you COULD do inventory with it by "checking in" every item. It would be tedious but possible and would only tell you what is accounted for. You would run "missing" reports from the desktop version and would not be notified of what is mis-shelved.

    We use this app mainly for checkin/out outside of the library. We have instructed the english teachers in its use so they can check in/out novel sets that are housed in their classrooms. It alleviates the need for paper lists and/or walking students to the library to check out novels for short periods of time. Some teachers are more comfortable with it than others. Those who are comfortable use it, those who aren't pull in our help.