RFID in Libraries

7/1/2004

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.

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