KOIOS Q+A with ETV's Carolina Money


Recently, our CEO sat down with an interviewer from Carolina Money. In it, he gives some advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, and opens up about the future for KOIOS. Here's an excerpt from the conversation:

Q: What are some goals for the future of the company?
A: We want to find 3 libraries this quarter who are willing to run pilots with our software. We'd also like to see steady growth in users here in Columbia. This is the home front, so we're eager to succeed here first!
Q: Now that you have some time under your belt, what advice would you give to yourself, if you could go back to when you were first creating Koios?
A: Hire from day one. The best people for the job will share your excitement for the idea. Sure, they'll want you to figure out how to pay them at some point, but more than that, they want to be "in" as soon as possible.
Also, take chances. Don't just go to conferences--apply to be a speaker. Cold call experts and invite them to lunch. Offer to write a guest blog or be interviewed for a podcast. You'd be surprised how many people are willing to help you.

Want to read the full interview? Head to carolinamoney.org.

KOIOS featured in U of SC alumni spotlight

Photo credit: USC Publications, Page Ivey -- click to read the full story!

Photo credit: USC Publications, Page Ivey -- click to read the full story!

The vast majority of us here at KOIOS are Gamecocks. That's why we're so proud to be featured on the University of South Carolina's website this month. Here are a few key excerpts from the story:

“Our goal is to remind people of the resources that are already available to them.”

(On Netflix in KOIOS' future) "KOIOS wouldn’t be competition because there is a limit to the number of titles such services can offer at any one time for viewing online."

“The university has been crucial to the development of KOIOS.”

To read more, check out the full article below. And remember: Don't buy, borrow!

"Search the library without searching the library"


How much can the library save you?

Just how much can you save by using the library? Recently, we at KOIOS decided that we wanted to find out. Using the KOIOS extension, we quickly cross-referenced our CEO's Amazon wishlist with our local library's collection. Here are the stats:

Out of 690 unique book searches (yeah, he's kind of a nerd):

  • 86 were at our library (about 1/8)

  • 59 of those were available now (nearly 70%!)

If he were to borrow all of those books from the library instead of buying the cheapest used option on Amazon, he would save $599.93, or an average of $6.98 per book.

Here are some other interesting tidbits we discovered:

  • Fiction had the highest percentage in the library (25.81%) and also the highest number available now (75%).
  • Business had the highest average savings ($10.06), since business books are still pricey even when buying used.

We found that using the Koios extension made a big difference for a couple of reasons:

  1. KOIOS found an exact match at the library, not a list to scan through.
  2. KOIOS checks every book--not just the ones you would think to look for at the library. Sometimes the library will surprise you. It definitely surprised us!
  3. A KOIOS search is lightning fast. We opened a dozen tabs at a time or more, all with different books, and results still popped up in seconds.


Want to see how much of your wishlist is at the library?
Sign up for Koios at http://www.koios.co/for-users/#sign-up and we'll let you know when it's available in your area. Or tweet to us at @koioslib and cc your library to get us there faster!

If you're a librarian and you'd like to know more about bringing Koios to your patrons, please email us at info@koios.co.


Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

KOIOS interviewed for NerdWallet story

The beautiful SC State House--one perk of many here in Columbia.

The beautiful SC State House--one perk of many here in Columbia.

Recently, Koios CEO Trey Gordner was interviewed for a piece on running a small business in Columbia, South Carolina. Here's a snippet:

“I think the work that’s being done now, to connect the dots between the city, the state, the university and the different professional organizations, is really important work,” Gordner says. “All the pieces are here, it’s just a matter of putting them together.”

You can read the full article below:

Creating the New Nostalgia (KOIOS at CIL - Day 2)

John Palfrey, author of Bibliotech

John Palfrey, author of Bibliotech

John Palfrey, the keynote for Day 2, challenged us to “create a new nostalgia” for the library. The old nostalgia consisted of storytime and wandering shelves. But what do we want patrons to remember about the library 10 years from now? Here's my take:

1. Above all else, the library was a place where I could be creative.
The maker space is the obvious trend here--but remember, not everybody needs access to a 3d printer. Your patrons might prefer a music studio, a community garden, or the Adobe Creative Suite. Ask them, and learn the right investments for your library!

2. The library was full of helpful people.
Access to creative materials is a great start, but don't forget that the culture may need to change as well. Everyone in the library has to be excited about seeing patrons succeed in their endeavors--whether that's finding a job, inventing a product, writing a book, or creating a work of art. Hire just one artist who likes to teach, and see what it does for your community.

3. I never would have learned about ____ if it wasn't for the library. 
People enjoy browsing shelves because they might discover something new. Train your staff on Khan Academy, Coursera, and other MOOCs. Put together temporary exhibits on spontaneous topics. Find exotic things happening in your community, and invite participants to host one of their meetings at the library.

The old nostalgia was specific to a certain stage of life or behavior. People grow out of storytime, and don't come back until they're bringing their kids. People don't wander shelves unless they have time to read. But the new nostalgia should appeal to anyone. After all, why ever leave an institution that is helping you to become the best version of yourself? In fact, the best "new nostalgia" for the library is no nostalgia at all. It's patrons who stay engaged year after year.

Let's go from fond memories to great experiences.

Are Libraries the next Radioshack? (KOIOS at CIL - Day 1)

In a lecture at the Galileo Symposium, Richard Feynman once said “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” It was in that spirit that keynote speaker Steve Denning asked a provocative question:

Are libraries the next Radioshack?

The comparison is apt for a couple of reasons:

  1.  Many people seem genuinely surprised that either one is still "in business"
  2.  Both are primarily serving niche communities (including makers)
  3.  Both have struggled to orient themselves in the rise of the internet

It may not have been the joyous hurrah people were expecting, but it did call attention to the purpose of the conference: to sync up technology and libraries for community success. And the first step in that, per Feynman, is to not fool ourselves into thinking we're ahead of where we are. Denning followed up with encouragement to pursue "creative management" and customer development as opposed to the traditional hierarchy, citing books like Lean Startup, The Great Reset, and The Leader's Dilemma.

The most important question we took away was:
How do we create a self-reinforcing system for change?

Note that the question is not "What do we change?" or "How do we change?" Both questions are helpful, but we need to be adapting constantly—not just for this year's strategic plan. Otherwise, we'll just be asking the same questions again next year. Continuous improvement—that is the central principle of Denning's talk, and one plenty of organizations, private and public, could learn from.

Open question for the comments: What's the first step for the library to foster continuous improvement?


Click the logo below to view and download many of the presentations from Day 1 of CIL. Stay tuned for more!

Press Kit

This page is intended as a resource for anyone wishing to write a story on KOIOS. Note: our founders are available for comment. Please share a link to the final piece with our media contact below.

Media Contact

Trey Gordner
(803) 570-2144

Examples of Past Press

[Koios] opens up even more opportunities for people to see what the library has to offer and how a library integrates into their everyday lives.

~ "Reading Remotely" (American Libraries)

Libraries can use the Koios browser extension to create a permanent connection with their patrons by becoming more visible online.


Official Koios Logo (.jpg, white background)

Official Koios Logo (.jpg, white background)

Official Koios logo (.png, transparent background)

Official Koios logo (.png, transparent background)

Official Koios logo (.jpg, dark background)

Official Koios logo (.jpg, dark background)

KOIOS (formerly Bibliotech) at Columbia Startup Weekend

Columbia’s first Startup Weekend event, a marathon, 54-hour surge of ideas and business planning, attracted 122 people from Friday through Monday at IT-oLogy, and its organizers declared it a success both for the turnout and for the strength of ideas that emerged.

The first place winner was Trey Gordner, whose Bibliotech application and Website aims to make collections at public libraries more accessible.

Read the full story here.

(Columbia Regional Business Report, Nov. 17, 2014)