RFID in Libraries


CLA Report

Filed under: — Laura @ 1:08 pm

Just in case you were wondering why I didn’t report on the vendor panel at the California Library Association conference – I was waiting for Lori Bowen Ayre to do it. She has. And she’s done it well.

Her summary pretty much says what I would have.


Vernon RFID is now Apex RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 1:53 pm

Vernon has created a new division – Integrated Technology Group – for library technology, especially RFID. Vernon RFID is now called Apex RFID and Vernon Express Self Checkout is Apex XpressCheck. Their materials sorting solution is now called Vista.

They’ve got a flashy new website - http://www.integratedtek.com


Tagsys Tech-Logic Partners No Longer

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:19 am

Not much news this week. I did hear from a Tagsys vendor that Tech-Logic will no longer be selling Tagsys tags with their new systems. Old systems will continue to be supported.


Texas Instruments Announces CD/DVD Inlay

Filed under: — Laura @ 4:02 pm

PR Newswire is reporting that Texas Instruments has added a CD/DVD tag to its offerings. The tag is compliant with both ISO 15693 and ISO 18000-3 . It’s got a whopping 2000 bits of memory.


Dutch book supplier goes all RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 10:12 am

From Dow Jones Newswire:

UPM and NBD Use RFID to Track Books
Finnish forestry company UPM-Kymmene Oyj announced Dutch book supplier NBD Biblion will apply radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to all new books. The use of RFID will allow the companies to automatically track books in libraries. Under the deal, UPM will provide 50% of the tags, with more than one million RFID tags delivered already. [thanks Beth @ privacyrights.org]

More information [thanks Lori]

This is definitely a trend to watch. Some North American book jobbers are also including RFID tags in books, although only by library request. Examples which come to mind are: Blackwells, Baker & Taylor.


Checkpoint announces 10 deals

Filed under: — Laura @ 3:29 pm

Checkpoint,getting a slew of business lately, has announced their latest contracts. Out of 10 contracts, two are academic libraries and eight are public.


RFID Intelligent Shelf

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:21 am

An interesting library RFID application is being discussed on RFID_LIB.

Nedap Library Solutions, a European firm, will soon be releasing an “intelligent RFID book shelf.”

I can see how in gathering in-house usage statistics would be more automated with reader-equipped shelves. No need to remind pages or student reshelvers to use the wand when making their rounds. And, it would be possible to tell if a book had simply been moved rather than taken off the shelf. This could make in-house usage stats more accurate. I wonder if the product will fly or if librarians will find inventory wands to be good enough for their needs.

Nedap is going to be attending the Frankfurt Book Fair – if anybody wants a demo.


Bibliotheca releases better CD/DVD tags

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:45 am

RFID Journal reports that Bibliotheca has released a CD/DVD booster tag which they claim increases reads on this type of media from 70% to 100%. The usual problem with CD/DVDs is one of simple physics. Due to the magnetic layer on the disc there is interference with the electromagnetic radio signal waves.

The booster is pricey. It’s $1.49 for the booster and .99 for the donut. At that rate, I’m not sure which library could actually afford it. The breakthrough would be a definite boon to public libraries, since they tend to have high media circulation. Interestingly enough, the library cited in the article is Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library on Long Island, in New York. This is the same library that Bibliotheca touted as achieving an 85% labor savings by implementing self-check.

There is no mention of how many simultaneous reads of CD/DVDs can be done successfully. There is also no mention of how well the booster actually works in practice. Based on my conversations with electrical engineers, it is nigh well impossible to break the laws of physics and increase the read ranges of the CD/DVD tags very much. Bibliotheca may have increased the read range a little bit, and they say that it doesn’t effect the running speed/playback of the discs, nor does it damage the equipment. I reserve judgment until some library puts the tags though heavy use.


New contract for Bibliotecha

Filed under: — Laura @ 4:35 pm

Middlesex University in London will be the 1st UK installation for Bibliotheca.[Managing Information]


ALA Round-up

Filed under: — Laura @ 2:17 pm

I’ve finally got my thoughts about ALA organized – and I have many. I’ll put them into the extended post to help those of you who prefer shorter summaries in your aggegregator. ALA was a whirlwind of information regarding RFID. It includes: new privacy guidelines from affiliated orgizations, the debut of encryption solutions, best implementation practices, and a few vendor pronouncements.

Links featured in this post:
My notes on the Tips & Trends session

Bibliotecha on RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 11:12 am

Birgit Lindl, from Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems wrote an article for Research Information about the benefits of library RFID. It doesn’t have much in the way of new information. It does, however, mention a bit about ROI. It says:

The Mastics-Moriches Community Library in the state of New York carried out a time and cost analysis to compare the use of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and RFID systems for circulation and found that the latter gave a saving in labour time of around 85 per cent
I hope Mastics-Moriches publishes their findings [thanks Information Overlord]


Encryption API available in August

Filed under: — Laura @ 1:15 pm

Eric Ipsen from Library Automation Technologies/Flashscan tells me that the Flashscan RFID Encryption Envelope (FREE) will be available for licensing on August 10. Maintenance and upgrades will be included in the price but the licensing structure hasn’t yet been finalized. Expect to see full support, documentation and the API.


Flashscan/Library Automation Technologies announce RFID encryption

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:58 am

Flashscan/Library Automation Technologies has created Flashscan RFID Encryption Envelope (FREE) which claims to solve one of the eavesdropping vulnerability mentioned in Molnar’s article. FREE will encrypt the communication between an RFID reader/write device and a tag.

Better still, they are making the solution available as a standalone API set for licensing by ILS and library software vendors.

I’ve been talking to a few of the other vendors and the Flashscan announcement was news to them. Since best practices are still emerging it might be a good idea to ask your prospective vendors about their awareness of the vulnerabilities and what they would be willing to do to mitigate the problems. Kudos to Flashscan for their proactivity!

Checkpoint Upgrades RFID system

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:46 am

There will probably be many vendor announcements due to ALA. Checkpoint has launched an upgrade of their RFID system. According to this article in Techweb, “Intelligent Library System 2.0 … has been enhanced with software that enables a staff member to monitor several self-checkout stations from one workstation.”


New vendor enters the fray

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:41 am

Sentech EAS corporation has announced that they are entering the library RFID market. Their website doesn’t yet have any library specific information, however.

File this under one to watch. I’m a bit surprised to see a vendor choosing to serve the library market since we’re probably a very small piece of the RFID pie. I think it bodes well for any efforts librarians make towards influencing the design and manufacture of chips with better security features. If they are interested in us as a market, then they should be willing to listen to our concerns, no?


Checkpoint gets NZ library contract

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:28 am

Botany Downs library in South Aukland becomes first library in New Zealand to use RFID. They choose Checkpoint as their vendor.


London Library chooses 3M RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:12 am

This article in Managing Information News describes how the Borough of Sutton selected 3M RFID is the first library to use 3M’s one tag solution.


HP: RFID chip price expected to drop below US$0.05

Filed under: — Laura @ 10:12 am

HP announced at a conference in Taipai that RFID chip price is expected to drop below US$0.05.

Library chips currently run between $0.50 and $0.70 for regular tags and about a buck or so for special media tags (VHS, DVD etc.).

I presume HP is only referring to the type of tags used in warehouse applications. Library tags would probably follow suit and become cheaper – but we might not see it as soon.

Cheaper chips equal ubiquitous chips.


3M single tag solution

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:22 am

3M is finally offering a RFID only solution. It’s not exactly news, since they announced this at PLA, but I forgot to post about it.


Bibliotecha SIP2 Certified for Sirsi

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:56 am

Integrating Bibliotecha’s RFID system to Sirsi software shouldn’t be a problem now. Managing Information reports on Bibliotecha’s Sirsi SIP2 certification.


CIL: Helping you buy RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:13 pm

This month’s issue of Computers in Libraries has a great little article explaining RFID. It also contains an incredibly useful matrix which compares the offerings from different vendors. I wish this had come out several months ago. I had already created my own spreadsheet with that very same info.

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