RFID is a new technology at the library. Read on to learn more about it!
What is RFID?
RFID is an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification.It became commercially available in 1973 and was used primarily in the fields of transportation, banking, security, and medicine. RFID was introduced to the library setting in the late 1990's and now one in ten libraries world-wide use it.
The tiny radio tag inside the book or material communicates with a reader at the self check-out machines or the upcoming materials return machines to allow for check out and check in of items without scanning a barcode. The tag is passive, which means that it only sends out a signal when it is near a reader, so it does not interfere with any other electrical devices like cell phones.
Why are we moving to RFID?
It will allow our staff more time to assist patrons out in the library, to shelve returned materials, and to search the shelves to find holds, missing items, and lost items. It will help us streamline inventory processes which will make it easier to find misshelved items and items that are lost, missing, in transit, etc. Also, people use libraries more in hard economic times- staffing must be able to keep up with demands or everyone suffers. Automation allows staffing to keep pace with growth better.
Beaufort County has experienced exponential growth in the last few years which has already resulted in a 28% increase in circulation. In order to keep up with this impact on library services, new technology is needed that will address the continued increase of demand from library users.
RFID is a cost-effective library service technology that will help us address our growing customer base as well as the increasing demands from our citizens and visitors for free and reliable information and assistance.