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RFID Library Management System



Institutional (academic) libraries and public libraries face growing challenges in managing the assets of their collection and maintaining or improving service levels to patrons.

Over the past twenty years, libraries have grown their services to their patrons from simply offering books and periodicals to now adding multi-media items such as videos, CDs and DVDs. Add to this the fact that many libraries provide patrons computers to access the Internet as another source for information. Throughout this growth in material resources offered by libraries there are also growing concerns on the security of the collection assets and maintaining (or improving) service levels to the patrons. Throughout this time, many municipalities and institutions who manage our library systems have sought ways to reduce operating budgets (cut staff) to offset the growing capital costs of the multi-media resources and computer hardware.


For the concerns that library managers face each day, RFID technology brings solutions that magnetic stripe or barcode technology simply cannot deliver as effectively. The RFID tag is assigned and attached to the asset in similar ways, depending on the material, paper, plastics, etc. The advantages of RFID tags over barcode or magnetic stripe are as follows:

  1. Faster scanning of the data stored on the RFID tag,
  2. Simple and easy way for patrons to self-checking for material loans and returns,
  3. Superior detection rates,
  4. Significantly reduce the number of false alarms at the exit sensors (up to 75% less)
  5. High speed inventory - reducing time to by staff for 'shelf-reading' and other inventory activities,
  6. Automated return of materials that speeds up sorting of materials and re-shelving for the next patron to access and
  7. A longer lifecycle than a barcode.


  1. RFID tags replace both the EM security strips and Barcode.
  2. Simplify patron self check-out / check-in.
  3. Ability to handle material without exception for video and audio tapes.
  4. Radio Frequency anti-theft detection is innovative and safe.
  5. High-speed inventory and identify items which are out of proper order.
  6. Long-term development guarantee when using Open Standard.

Advantages of RFID systems

Rapid check-out / check-in

The use of RFID reduces the amount of time required to perform circulation operations. The most significant time savings are attributable to the facts that information can be read from RFID tags much faster than from barcodes and that several items in a stack can be read at the same time. While initially unreliable, the anti-collision algorithm that allows an entire stack to be check-out or check-in now appears to be working well.

The other time savings realized by circulation staff are modest unless the RFID tags replace both the EM security strips or RF tags of older theft detection systems and the barcodes of the library management system - i.e., the system is a comprehensive RFID system that combines RFID security and the tracking of materials throughout the library; or it is a hybrid system that uses EM for security and RFID for tracking, but handles both simultaneously with a single piece of equipment. There can be as much as a 50 percent increase in throughput. The time savings are less for check-out than for check-in because the time required for check-out usually is extended by social interaction with patrons.

Simplified patron self check-out / check-in

For patrons using self check out, there is a marked improvement because they do not have to carefully place materials within a designated template and they can check out several items at the same time.

Patron self check-in shifts that work from staff to patrons. Staff is relieved further when readers are installed in book-drops.

High reliability

  1. The readers are highly reliable. RFID library systems claim an almost 100 percent detection rate using RFID tags.
  2. There is no false alarm than with older technologies once an RFID system is properly tuned.
  3. RFID systems encodes the circulation status on the RFID tag. This is done by designating a bit as the "theft" (EAS) bit and turning it off at time of check-out and on at time of check-in. If the material that has not been properly checked-out is taken past the exit sensors, an immediate alarm is triggered.

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 application of RFID technology is automated materials handling. This includes conveyer 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.

Long tag life

Finally, RFID tags last longer than barcodes because nothing comes into contact with them. Most RFID vendors claim a minimum of 100,000 transactions before a tag may need to be replaced.

If you are constructing your library or want to upgrade to RFID, Contact Us Today! We have the right Solution for You!

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