RFID in Libraries

3/22/2005

New Berkeley Library trustee

Filed under: — Laura @ 1:01 pm

The top story in today’s Berkeley Daily planet reports on the appointment of a new trustee to the library board. Ying Lee, who opposes the decision to use RFID, said she didn’t know enough about Jackie Griffin’s plans to comment on the budget.

The article does say that the board will be having a community meeting on April 12 to discuss RFID and proposed staff layoffs.

I’ve been predicting that such a meeting would happen and I’m glad to see that it is. The library needs some good PR. Yes there are privacy issues with RFID. No doubt about it. I think, however, that the media coverage is conflating the issues with the staff layoff situation. If the board is able to get the budget numbers out to the people along with how those numbers were generated/obtained then folks will see that Jackie and the board have made decisions based upon their needs. They are not installing RFID due to technolust or a grand desire to eliminate staff.

Evaulation is going to be the key to long term public acceptance of those decisions. Hard numbers to illustrate the decrease in workers comp costs and qualitative studies about patron satisfaction with customer service will demonstrate that RFID was (or wasn’t?) worth it.

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