Digital reader provides top shelf library service

Article image - Digital reader provides top shelf library service The new technology is set to improve self-service facilities.

Streamlined check-in processes and a more up-to-date inventory are two of the advantages that libraries in Logan City Council in Queensland are set to embrace.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is due to be introduced into the city’s nine libraries.

Unlike a barcode, a RFID tag doesn’t need to be in the line of sight of a reader, allowing it to be embedded in a tracked object such as a library book.

Council’s Communities, Libraries and Cultural Services Committee Chairperson, Councillor Steve Swenson, said Logan’s RFID project would replace the existing electromagnetic system with user-friendly technology that represented best practise for inventory management.
With a fully tagged collection, inventory can be taken with a portable, hand-held wand, which is passed alongside the books on the shelves.

The reader picks up the individual signals from each item’s tag without needing to remove or even tip the books outward from the shelves.

Currently staff members at Logan’s libraries manage around four million manual loans each year.

Cr Swenson said the new technology would offer improved self-service facilities.    

“By using the RFID to automate some library processes and streamline others we can then free up our staff to focus on other tasks,” he said.

“They will have more time available to deliver programs, deal with customer queries, offer technology support and carry out literacy development.

“Further innovation around RFID technologies is ongoing and by introducing this technology we will be able to take advantage of suitable new services, enhancements or application upgrades in the future.”

Logan’s libraries are visited by more than 1.6 million
people each year.