RFID in Libraries


Off until 8/3

Filed under: — Laura @ 12:28 pm

The WordPress install on the domain is going slowly, but my techie friend will continue working on it during my absence. As of 3pm PST today I am off on vacation. I won’t be updating the blog while I’m away – sorry for the extended void. Once we get multiple contributors we can avoid ever going “dark” again.

One to watch - possible patent infringement on tags

Filed under: — Laura @ 12:23 pm

Intermec Technologies is suing tag manufacturer Matrics over patent infringement according to this article from Line56.com.

If the suit is successful, then this could drive up the price of tags.


Official SFPL PR

Filed under: — Laura @ 10:34 am

The SFPL press release on RFID is available in the extended post.

SFPL moves ahead with RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:19 am

A contact at the San Francisco Public Library brought me up to date about last Friday’s County Board of Supervisor’s Budget Committee meeting. The library has the ok to continue pursuing RFID. The committee put SFPL’s $300,000 budget request on reserve for six months. While it is in escrow, the library is expected to work with outside organizations to develop at Request For Proposal which addresses all of the concerns.

There will be an official press release today.

Slides up from ALA presentation

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:53 am

Peter Murray’s slides from the ALA Tips & Trends presentatation are up – thanks Peter!

More on defeat of CA Bill

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:47 am

RFID Journal reports on the 6/25 defeat of California Senate Bill 1834 in the assembly committee on Business and Professions. According to the report Senator Bowen does plan to continue working on RFID legislation there is no indication that she will reintroduce this particular bill. Opponents to the bill thought the timing was innappropriate – essentially that we should wait for abuses to occur before regulating use.

Porting pending

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:37 am

Good news. I’ve tapped a techie friend to help with porting of this blog to its own domain. This is scheduled to occur on Weds July 6. It will be in testing mode for several days (perhaps weeks?) before the official move. Consider this another early warning that you’ll need to update your bookmarks and/or aggregators to www.libraryrfid.net (not .com – that’s Flashscan’s domain).


Minor update

Filed under: — Laura @ 3:53 pm

The BISG draft guidelines were indeed distributed at the Sunday “Tiny Trackers” session.

SF Examiner Predicts “No” Vote for RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 3:15 pm

The SF Examiner says SF county supervisor Jake McGoldrick predicted a “no” vote on the proposal once the library’s budget is finalized, and Supervisor Chris Daly’s opposition has already been noted by those who advocate using the chip.

There’s only 3 supervisors on the committee. If 2/3 are opposed….well..stay tuned.

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.

SFPL New Privacy Policy

Filed under: — Laura @ 12:54 pm

I’m still editing my detailed notes from the session, “The Radio Frequency Revolution: Tips & Trends for Implementing RFID Systems in Libraries” but some of the information is time dependent so I’m posting it now. San Francisco Public Library chief Susan Hildreth gave an update on the status of RFID implementation in her library.

The SFPL Library Commission sent their proposed budget to the city mayor’s office. Gavin Newsome approved it and it went to the county board of supervisors. The county board reviewed it on June 19 and again on the 24th. According to Hildreth, out of the three board members, one is opposed, one is neutral and one is relatively supportive. The vote was tabled until July 2 – so stay tuned for updates tomorrow.

Hildreth says that SFPL will be spending $2.8 million over 8 years to implement RFID. $1.5 million will come from the operating budget and $3 million will come from private funds – I know this doesn’t add up, but that’s what I wrote down. Consider those figures ballpark.

I went to the SFPL website today and noticed that their revised privacy policy is posted and it does include RFID. They will limit information on tags to barcode number, they won’t use smart patron cards and they will comply with the law in regards to gathering information. They have also posted their RFID bibliography and their proposed plan of action in a more publically accessible place.

Of the controversy, Hildreth says she was surprised at the public’s lack of concern regarding the repetitive strain injuries suffered by library staff. She thought there would be more support for creating a safer workplace. She recommended that other libraries know their communities well prior to considering the technology.

Commenting off for now

Filed under: — Laura @ 11:30 am

Unfortunately the comments area of this blog is getting spammed, so I’ve turned of temporarily turned off that feature. Hopefully I can get a workaround in place soon.

CA SB 1834 Fails Committee Vote

Filed under: — Laura @ 11:06 am

Hi all - I’m back from ALA so there will be many updates. Lots of things happened in the past week.

The California RFID privacy bill was heard again by assembly committee. This time it failed to pass, but it was granted reconsideration. I predict some more amendments. There was a new analysis posted on 6/23 (dated 6/22). Interestingly, they don’t list any organizations as being in support of the bill, but list several in opposition – including the EFF, ACLU and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Those three organizations are neutral regarding the bill but opposed to RFID in general. As an alterantive to SB 1834 they propose a three part framework of recomendations. The framework includes a detailed assesment of the technology, implementing RFID within the principles of fair information practice and flatly prohibiting certain uses.

The wording of the prohibited practices gets a bit murky. They say the banned practices:

would include forcing consumers to accept tagged products, prohibiting consumers from detecting and disabling tags, tracking individuals without consent, and incorporating tags into currency.

I think this means they want to prohibit prohibiting people from using blockers (i.e. allowing blocking) but the double negative leaves my head spinning a little bit.

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