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Agile Computing Authors: David Dodd, Anders Wallgren, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Philippe Abdoulaye

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Bretford Unveils New FOSTER™ Series Circulation Desk

Bretford Manufacturing, Inc.®, a United States manufacturer of technology-enabled furniture for agile learning and business environments, today introduced the new FOSTER™ Series Circulation Desk, the centerpiece product in the new Bretford Library 2.0 Line of digital media furniture. Designed as the main hub for a modern dynamic digital media center, the new desk features a clean, contemporary look with a unique teaming work surface for enhanced communication between the librarian and visitors. Additionally, the new desk incorporates the Bretford Fluid Power System for easy power access, along with an optional locking storage cabinet that is capable of safely housing loaner electronic devices, supplies and information. The new FOSTER circulation desk is available for order now and will begin shipping in March 2013.

Today’s library has evolved from a static place for books and studying to a dynamic environment that revolves around mobility and collaboration. As a result, the needs of the librarian’s workspace have also dramatically changed. The FOSTER Series circulation desk provides a simple look that fits well in both existing and brand new K-12, higher education and public libraries.

According to Dave Smith, product manager for Bretford Manufacturing, Inc., “A circulation desk functions not just as a place for books to be checked out but is now where electronics like laptops, tablets, e-readers and even digital cameras are distributed. It’s also a resource center, help desk and a place for librarians and visitors to meet and collaborate.” He continued, “The new FOSTER circulation desk offers a clean and contemporary appearance with built-in power and cord management that will fit well into traditional and modern libraries alike. The continuous counter space gives greater functionality while the new teaming work surface enables a librarian and visitor to sit across from one another and share a monitor. Additionally, new desk cabinet options provide more room for storage with capabilities for charging and distributing electronics.”

Bretford had the opportunity to test the FOSTER circulation desk at Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Ill. “Our previous circulation desk was no longer functional for our evolving library,” said Kerry Littel, head librarian at Lake Forest High School. “It was set up with only one transaction area and had limited storage so it wasn’t conducive to working with the students. The FOSTER circulation desk gives us more flexibility and workable space. It contains two checkout stations, which is necessary because we see more than one-third of the student body on a daily basis.” Littel added that the biggest benefit of the FOSTER circulation desk is the teaming work surface, which provides a place to assist the students on projects and also allows more space to do library work so her staff can stay productive and efficient.

The FOSTER desk has a one-of-a-kind teaming work surface that is available in 32- or 39-inch heights. With seating on opposite sides, librarians and patrons can now share a computer screen and keyboard for easier communication and information viewing. Additionally, the surface meets ADA requirements for patron access and is even available in a standing height for high top stools or quick visits. The teaming work surface may include the Bretford Fluid Power System, which enables multiple devices to power from a single outlet without the clutter of power strips or the expense of hardwiring. The Fluid Power System can be daisy chained for greater functionality allowing power to run throughout the entire circulation desk.

Since all librarians distribute electronic devices, the FOSTER circulation desk includes a storage cabinet that can easily be equipped with an electrical strip to charge electronic devices while they are securely stored. The large veneer cabinet coordinates with the wood panels of the circulation desk and fits under the work surface so it is ideal for large items and electronic devices. Cord management is built into the back of the cabinet so charging can be moved off of the work surface and placed under a desk and out of sight. Finally, a variety of additional locking cabinets are available to secure papers and electronic devices when stored away, providing plenty of space for keeping records, paperwork, personal items and other electronics.

About the Library 2.0 Line

Targeted for the K-12 and higher education libraries, student commons as well as public library settings, the Library 2.0 line includes the enhancement of Bretford’s traditional library offering with the addition of technology-enabled seating, tables and desks that are both powered and mobile so places, people and information can move while still staying connected. Along with the furniture, Bretford is also providing a new Library Specification Guide that offers all the information needed to completely re-outfit a library. The combination of the products and guide give architects, designers and facility planners everything they need to update a library through a single source.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-521-9614. Bretford can also be followed on Twitter at

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