A SCHOOL is introducing cutting-edge technology into its library in a bid to get more children to borrow more books.
Pupils at Scissett Middle School have already dubbed a new fingerprint recognition system "cool" and "wicked".
The new system enables all pupils to be instantly identified by touching a small scanner with their thumb.
Their thumb pressure creates an image which the software converts into a unique pupil number.
The number is stored and the individual is recognised each time they use the scanner.
But the school is quick to point out that no image of the fingerprint is ever stored.
Headteacher Mike Moriarty said: "Using technology is the norm for modern children and we want to capitalise on their enthusiasm by introducing a system that makes book borrowing or research a little more exciting.
"We expect book borrowing to increase and that boys, particularly, will show much more interest in what the library has to offer," he added.
"We use the most modern technology in other areas of school life, why not in the library, where the technology will appeal to pupils?"
The technology will mean pupils will no longer have library cards, which can be lost or damaged.
They will have individual on-screen accounts and will be able to make reservations, leave and receive messages, review books and will be able to borrow and return items more quickly.
The school hopes the system will be fully introduced and used by all 578 pupils by next February.
Six classes, around 180 pupils, have already had their thumbprint recognised in preparation for the system coming into operation.
Mr Moriarty said the system was part of a two-year library re-development programme at the school which also involves using electronic systems to catalogue books and resources of all types.
The school has put £3,000 into the programme this year and will be putting similar amount of cash from its budget into the project over the next couple of years.