RFID in Libraries – How Does a RFID Solution for Library Work?

What does an RFID library solution consist of?

A typical RFID library management system consists of RFID tags, a label conversion station, a self-service machine, a cart inventory, a RFID security door and a 24-hours Outdoor Book Drop.

1. RFID library tags – the core of the system. A RFID library tag is equipped with a programmable chip and an antenna and it can be fixed inside the back cover of a book or directly onto a CD.

2. Label Conversion Station – it provides a quick, easy solution to binding library items with RFID tags.

3. Self Service Station- it works as a combined station which provides check-in and check-out service.

4. Inventory Cart- it is typically equipped with a large RFID antenna with excellent detection rates, making it easier for librarians to take inventory of the items.

5. RFID Security Door – it works as part of the detection system.

6. 24-hours Outdoor Book Drop – A device mounted on the facade of the library. It offers a great flexibility and convenience for patrons, because they can return library items even when the library is closed at night or on holidays.

Process flow of the Management System

Book Tagging: Past each the library items with a RFID tag. This book binding operation is done by the label conversion station.

Automatic Inventory and Positioning: Librarians use an inventory cart to identify items for shelving process and trace the position of an item. If they find the items are in wrong place and they can put them back to the right place. By wirelessly connecting to a PC or laptop, it can significantly improve the efficiency of inventory.

Automatic Identification: The system will automatically record the whole behavior when patrons borrow a book with their legitimate library card. From the moment they use the subsystem of resource management to find out the specific location of the books they need, take the books from the bookcase till they get the book checked out on the self-service machine.

Automatic Anti-Theft Detection: When the items get through the RFID security door, no matter they are entrained in clothes or in bags, the system will automatically find that and identify if the items are borrowed and automatically alarm when the items are taken out of the library illegally.

Benefits of the RFID library management system

For Libraries:

1) They can conduct stock management more effectively as RFID technology improves in accuracy and reading range.

2) They are released from repetitive labor, such as finding lost and missing items and identifying mis-shelved stock, and provide better patron services.

3) They can spend less time for circulation operations.

4) They can improve inventory management.

5) Less staff are required to manage them may be reduced due to more automated operations.

For Library Patrons

1) They can save a lot of time for waiting in long lines by using self-service station.

2) They can find what they are looking for quickly & easily.

3) They can return borrowed items in time with the help of reminders for due dates.

4) Flexible timings are available for them by using book drops & return chutes for returning library material.