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GINALYN R. SORONEL MLIS Student

C urrent Issues and Emerging Technologies RFID Technology for Libraries

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LibBest Library RFID Management System Shelf Management Check inlout Service Self Check in/out Book Drop Tagging Anti-Theft Detection

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RFID Technology for Libraries RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is the latest technology to be used in library theft detection systems. Unlike EM (Electro-Mechanical) and RF (Radio Frequency) systems,which have been used in libraries for decades, the RFID-based systems that libraries began to install in the late 1990s not only detect the unauthorized removal of library materials but speed staff charge and discharge, simplify and speed patron self-charge and self-discharge, support electronic inventorying and shelf searching, and interface with materials handling systems.

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The descriptive term “inventory tracking systems” has been applied to RFID systems, but it is not yet in widespread use in the library community. By mid-2007, an estimated 600 libraries with as many as 850 facilities worldwide were using RFID systems. Those numbers had at least quadrupled by mid-2011 according to representatives of several companies contacted by the author. RFID is a combination of radio-frequency-based technology and microchip technology. The information contained on microchips in the tags affixed to library materials is read using radio frequency technology. A reader (aka sensor, scanner, or interrogator) looks for antennae on the tags and retrieves information from the microchips through them

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A Brief History of RFID Radio-frequency technology has come far from its roots at the beginning of the twentieth century. Russian physicist Leon Theremin is commonly attributed as having created the first RFID device in 1946 (Scanlon, 2003). While Theremin may be recognized for the first successful application of the technology, RFID has earlier roots. RFID is a combination of radar and radio broadcast technology. Radar was developed in the U.S. in the 1920s (Scanlon, 2003). Scholars noted the relationship between electricity and magnetism, which is a foundation of radio broadcasting, at the beginning of the nineteenth century (Romagnosi, 2009). Harry Stockman wrote a seminal paper in 1948, identifying the vast amount of research and development still needed before “reflected-power communications” could be used in applications.

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Interest in implementing RFID in libraries is on the rise (Dorman, 2003). RFID technology has been used to raise efficiency in transport, business, and theft-monitoring systems. The evolution of RFID described below suggests that libraries may well benefit from the widespread use of this technology. 1920s Foundation Established • Radar was developed as a technology in the U.S. in the 1920s. • RFID, a combination of radio broadcast technology and radar, was developed soon after.

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1930s Progress • Britain used a related technology, an IFF transponder, to distinguish enemy aircraft during WWII. 1940s RFID Invented • Radar is refined. • Harry Stockman publishes "Communication by Means of Reflected Power." 1950s Time of Research and Development • Technologies related to RFID were explored in laboratories. • Designs developed for long-range transponder systems for aircraft.

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1960s Applications Abound • During the 1960s inventors began applying radiofrequency technology to devices aimed at markets beyond the military. The 1970s Hard at Work • Academic institutions, government laboratories companies, and independent researchers are all working to develop RFID technology. • Work done at this time was aimed toward electronic toll collection, animal and vehicle tracking, and factory automation. 1980s Commercial Expansion • RFID technology is fully implemented. Europe and the U.S.apply RFID to transportation systems, animal tracking, and business applications.

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1990s RFID Becomes Commonplace • RFID uses are so widespread that standards begin to emerge. • RFID is widely used by consumers and companies globally. 2000s RFID Enhancements • Improved technology leads to miniaturization. • Cost of RFID continues to fall. • Private authentication develops as key concern in library implementation

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Benefits and Importance of RFID use in Library · RFID improves library workflow by reducing non-value added work processes · Improves staff productivity · Improves customer service · Assist inventory check with ease. · Easy book identification for shelving process · Assist traceability of book allocation · Enhance book return processes by full automation of check-in, EAS activation and system updates completed simultaneously in the self-return chute

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· Allow better accuracy in book collection management, resulting in reduced book purchase · More than one item can be checked out or checked in at the same time. · Items can be placed on the reader without careful placement that it is required for line of sight system (barcode scanner) · Faster inventory process. · Ability to locate specific items.

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Advantages of RFID in Libraries: The use of RFID reduces the amount of time required to perform circulation operations. The most significant time saving with bootable is the fact that information can be read from RFID tags much faster than from barcodes and that served items in the stack can be read at the same time. · Self charging-discharging · Reliability · Streamlined Inventory Management · Longevity of Tag life · Faster Circulation · Reduction in workplace injuries · Automated materials handling · Easy stock verification

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· Theft reduction · High level of security · Mis-shelve easy identification · External Book Return · Improved tracking of high-value items · Reduce Shrinkage errors · Technology standards to drive down cost · Reduce materials cost and handling · Automated issue/return · Automated sorting of books on return · Inventory visibility accuracy and efficiency · Improved Production planning · Ability to manage the expenses over a number of years.

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· RFID tags are very simple to install/inject inside the body of animals, thus helping to keep track of them. This is useful in animal husbandry and on poultry farms. · RFID technology is better than barcodes as it cannot be easily replicated and therefore, it increases the security of the product. · Barcode scanners have repeatedly failed in providing security to books and journals in libraries. But nowadays, RFID tags are placed inside the books and an alarm is installed at the exit doors. · The RFID tags can store data up to 2 KB whereas the bar code has the ability to readjust 10-12 digits.

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Key Features of RFID in Libraries The reliability of the system, its ease of operation, and the flexibility of tagging all kinds of media easily are important criteria in choosing an RFID system. The main aim for today’s libraries in adopting RFID is the need to increase efficiency and reduce cost. Automation and self-service can help libraries of all sizes achieve these aims, and RFID has the added advantage that it can also provide security for the range of different media offered in libraries. The technology can also improve circulation and inventory control,which helps allocate human and financial resources. This means that libraries can relieve their professional employees of routine work and operational tasks.

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All of the tags used in RFID technology for libraries are “passive.” The power to read the tags comes from the reader or exit sensor (reader), rather than from a battery within the tag. A few libraries use a “smart” card, which is an RFID card with additional encryption, as an alternative to merely adding an RFID tag on staff and user identification cards (Boss 2004). Not only does that identify users for issue and return of library materials, but also for access to restricted areas or services. This would make it possible to make it into a “debit” card, with value-added upon pre-payment to the library and value subtracted when a user used a photocopier, printer, or other fee-based devices, or wished to pay fines or fees.

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Self-charging/Discharging The use of RFID reduces the amount of time required to perform circulation operations. This technology helps librarians eliminate valuable staff time spent scanning barcodes while checking out and checking in borrowed items. For the users, RFID speeds up the borrowing and return procedures. Library employees are released for more productive and interesting duties. Staff is relieved further when readers are installed in book drops.

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Reliability The readers are highly reliable. Several vendors of RFID library systems claim an almost 100 percent detection rate using RFID tags (Boss 2004). Some RFID systems have an interface between the exit sensors and the circulation software to identify the items moving out of the library. Were a library user to leave the library and not be caught, the library would at least know what had been stolen. If the user card also has an RFID tag, the library will also be able to determine who removed the items without properly charging them.

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Other RFID systems encode the circulation status on the RFID tag. This is done by designating a bit as the “theft” bit and turning it off at the time of charge and on at the time of discharge. If the material that has not been properly charged is taken past the exit gate sensors, an immediate alarm is triggered. Another option is to use both the “theft” bit and the online interface to an integrated library system, the first to signal an immediate alarm and the second to identify what has been taken out.

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High-Speed Inventorying A unique advantage of RFID systems is their ability to scan books on the shelves without tipping them out or removing them. A hand-held inventory reader can be moved rapidly across a shelf of books to read all of the unique identification information. Using wireless technology, it is possible not only to update the inventory but also to identify items, which are out of proper order. Automated Materials Handling Another advantage of RFID technology is automated materials handling. This Includes conveyor and sorting systems that can move library materials and sort them by category into separate bins or onto separate carts. This significantly reduces the amount of staff time required to ready materials for re-shelving.

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Automated Materials Handling Another advantage of RFID technology is automated materials handling. This Includes conveyor and sorting systems that can move library materials and sort them by category into separate bins or onto separate carts. This significantly reduces the amount of staff time required to ready materials for re-shelving. Tag Life RFID tags last longer than barcodes because the technology does not require line-of-sight. Most RFID vendors claim a minimum of 100,000 transactions before a tag may need to be replaced (Boss 2004).

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How does RFID benefit library visitors? Faster, easier checkout and check-in. A stack of RFID-tagged items can be read and checked out simultaneously, by a librarian or a user. Because the technology is so fast and easy to use, library visitors are more inclined to process their own transactions. Check-in is also much faster and easier with an RFID system. If RFID is paired with an automated materials handling (AMH) returns system, the productivity gains are dramatic. AMH systems can accept a returned library item, credit the user’s account, and sort the item for reshelving while the librarian is out on the library floor, engaging with library visitors.

How does RFID benefit library visitors? Faster, easier checkout and check-in. A stack of RFID-tagged items can be read and checked out simultaneously, by a librarian or a user. Because the technology is so fast and easy to use, library visitors are more inclined to process their own transactions. Check-in is also much faster and easier with an RFID system. If RFID is paired with an automated materials handling (AMH) returns system, the productivity gains are dramatic. AMH systems can accept a returned library item, credit the user’s account, and sort the item for reshelving while the librarian is out on the library floor, engaging with library visitors.

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Increased attention from library staff . For many people, the increased interaction with the library staff is the greatest benefit of RFID. When librarians spend less time on routine physical tasks, they can pay more attention to human connections and the customer experience. A more productive visit to the library. Libraries face the astonishing challenge of keeping track of multiple resources. They hold thousands – or even millions – of individual items, each one unique, each vitally important to the person who wants it for a report or because it’s the latest work by a beloved author. With RFID, those items are accurately located so users and librarians can easily find them. In the process of converting to RFID, libraries typically get an immediate benefit from the recovery of misplaced items – often hundreds of them – that were thought to be lost.

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Thank you very much!