77th IFLA General Conference: IFLA Special Interest Group on RFID

Ten years on: the use of RFID technology in library context


17 August 2011


San Juan, Puerto Rico


IFLA Special Interest Group on RFID

Frank Seeliger (Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, Germany)
"Developments, experiences, initiatives and goals in the context of german libraries as RFID-user"

My contribution will reflect ten years of experiences with now almost 400 libraries using this technology. I will present projects for localisation and inventoring, challenges like constant quality control, how we use round tables as communication platform, our other platforms to comunicate (working group, annual conferences, websites); to put it in a nutshell I will address all RFID-matters that matter in the german speaking context. As first speaker I will give an short introduction into this technology and an overview about the perception of RFID in my own country. (Presentation available here)

Marshal Breeding (Vanderbilt University, USA)
"RFID Technologies in the context of Emerging Library Automation Trends"

Many aspects of technology supporting the automation of libraries are changing rapidly. Service-oriented architecture, Web-based computing, increased integration of social networking concepts, as well as cloud computing such as software-as-a-service characterize this emerging landscape. Products and services making use of RFID technology have to exist in an automation ecosystem increasingly reshaped by these technologies. Breeding will present a view of how RFID and related technologies fit into this evolving environment, some of the challenges involved such as the need for more modern protocols for interoperability, and some of the opportunities enabled for new efficiencies and innovations. He will also review some of the changes in the global RFID business landscape and comment on its implications for libraries that depend on their products and services. (Presentation available here)

Mick Fortune (Consultant for UK libraries)

A former Systems Librarian at the British Library Mick Fortune also managed Ameritech Library Systems’ European Division and led Nielsen BookNet during a career in library automation that has lasted almost 40 years.
Since returning to the library scene in 2006 he has been monitoring the progress of RFID in libraries – with a particular interest in the integration and of RFID solutions with existing systems and their impact on services. A member of both the UK national committee on RFID use in the library, and the British Standards Institute Mick has worked hard to convince the UK market of the importance of standards to improve both interoperability and integration.

Mick will be reviewing the progress of RFID in libraries with particular reference to his domestic market – the UK. In particular he will be examining the likely impact of the new ISO data standards published earlier this year, and how the position taken by UK RFID providers is likely to change both the procurement and development of solutions in the future. (Presentation available here)

Edmund Balnaves (Director, Information Technology by Prosentient Systems in Ultimo, NSW, Australia and member of IT-section as Information Coordinator & Editor of Newsletter)

RFID is showing progressive takeup in logistics but very little in the retail chain in Australia. However there has been quite widespread adoption of HF and a smattering of UHF implementations of RFID in public libraries. Of the 400-odd special libraries that form my client base only a smattering use RFID at all.

While the UHF technology looks very promising, both from a cost and reading point of view, the HF implementation is self-fulfilling in Australia as most "standard-form" tender documents mandate the specific technology. From a purely technical point of view the Gen 2 UHF tags are otherwise quite attractive and have some utility in stocktake that can't be said of HF.

Libraries should be careful not to lock in the specific technology but aim for data standards. This is particuarly empahsised by recent innovations in printable RFID at Sunchon National University.

Meeting, RFID

Last update: 10 September 2015

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