Hoover schools track textbooks with new software

Every year, the cost of textbooks goes up for the Hoover School System, from about $940,000 in 2006 to more than $1.6 million in 2008.

The schools have finally figured out a way to protect that investment, by purchasing software to track the textbooks.

Project specialist Jean Todd said the software would benefit teachers by making it easier to keep up with the textbooks.

“The teachers will have a better idea of where their textbooks are going to be, and it’ll be easier to keep track of them,” Todd said. “It can be done on the computer and doesn’t have to be done by paper and pencil.”

The software, called Destiny, works by scanning each book into a database. From there, books can be assigned to grades, classes, teachers and students.

Communications director Jason Gaston said the software system cost $2,882 per site. The software has been installed in all 15 Hoover schools, as well as the central office and the operations center for the school system.

Gaston said lost textbooks could sometimes be a costly problem for the school system.

“It’s always going to be a problem because things happen with textbooks,” he said. “Students lose them, they get left behind here, there and everywhere. This software can go a long way towards preventing that.”

He said he believes the software will save the Hoover school system tens of thousands of dollars a year.

“Anything we can do for savings in this area, we’re going to do it,” he said.