RFID in Libraries



Filed under: — Laura @ 10:32 am

I’ve been thinking a great deal about Return-on-Investment for RFID. Chris at technobiblio pointed me to a couple of sessions at the recent PLA conference which dealt with cost/benefits analysis. Unfortunately, none of the session materials are online. I’ve been in touch with the Eugene Public Library. I’m hoping they will be willing to share.

Implementing a solution is pricey. I’ve just completed a comparison of 5 vendors (3M, Checkpoint, Libramation, Vernon, VTLS) and the cost of a complete solution for our library ranges from roughly $500,000 to $850,000. We asked for quotations on a system with 4 self-check out units, 2 staff circ units, 1 technical services unit and a self-return/bin sorting system with 14 bins.

Let me tell you: It’s incredibly difficult to do an across-the-board equation. Every system differs in significant ways. For example, with Checkpoint you need to purchase a dedicated server for the security gates to query the circulation system. Other systems differ on the number and types of tag conversion stations required. Not every vendor provided pricing for bins and those numbers do not reflect taxes. They do include freight and installation, however.

How do we justify the cash outlay? I imagine we can hire many student shelvers for many years at those prices.

I’ve searched the library literature and haven’t found anything dealing with ROI on RFID. I’d much rather build on other peoples work but I suppose I should consider this a publishing opportunity.

RFID Journal - Sen. Leahy Voices RFID Concerns

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:53 am

RFID Journal - Sen. Leahy Voices RFID Concerns

The article mentions state “right-to-know” legislation – and
California is considering such a bill. I’ll investigate further as this could affect our library’s implemention plans.


Yahoo! News - No RFID for Library Books

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:19 pm

Yahoo! News - No RFID for Library Books. Thanks technobiblio for the pointer to this story by Cameron Sturdevant of eWeek.

Looks like the controversy will continue to dog SFPL.

Hello RFID Weblog

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:17 pm

I’ve been discovered by The RFID Weblog. Welcome to its readers and thanks to Anita for the reference. I’ve added her to my blogroll.

LITA Posts RFID in Midwinter Top Tech Trends

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:17 pm

I notice that LITA has finally included links to RFID material in its report on Midwinter’s Top Tech Trends. It wasn’t there last time I checked.

RFID at the Cons

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:16 pm

RFID is starting to enter “critical mass” stage. Sessions at library conferences are attracting participants. According to Eric Ipsen, writing for RFID Journal, about 375 people attended a session at the recent PLA conference in Seattle. And just yesterday I was reviewing the preliminary program for ALA Orlando and saw a couple of sessions listed.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is offering “Tiny Trackers: The Use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technonlogy by Libraries and Booksellers” on Sunday 1:30pm

LITA is offering “The Radio Frequency Revolution: Tips and Trends for Implementing RFID Systems in Libraries” on Monday 8:30am

Selective RFID blocker from RSA Laboratories

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:14 pm

RSA Laboratories has a technology which promises to block unwanted scanning of RFID tags. I wonder how the EFF will respond.

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.

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:10 pm

We’re considering RFID technology for my library. I haven’t seen a blog specific to RFID and libraries yet, so I’m jumping into the fray.

We’re still in the midst of the evaluation process so I’m neck-deep in notes. I should write up the questions that our review team created for systematically appraising the vendors. I think it would make a good newsletter article. I believe we’re at the cusp of a new library automation trend – although the current budget situation may make it difficult for many libraries to seriously consider the technology yet.

Changing Hosts

Filed under: — Laura @ 3:35 pm

I’ve decided to switch hosts for RFID in Libraries. I think TypePad will provide more useful features. I will be working to import past links and entries over the next few days.

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