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Libraries & Archives

RFID technology has been used by libraries for more than a dozen years. Marking each book with an RFID tag, which contains a unique, electronic number read by radio in its memory, makes it possible to identify it individually.

The unique tag number is linked to information about a particular tagged book contained in a database, such as title, author, year of publication, loan history. Each time the label is read, this information can be accessed on the screen of an RFID handheld terminal or computer. The tag can be read using a handheld terminal, a desktop reader or RFID readers and antennas built into a gate form.

A standard RFID-based library system includes:

  1. RFID tags for marking books
  2. security gates
  3. self-service borrowing station
  4. return station, so called drop box - it can be internal or external and operate outside the hours of library operation
  5. RFID mobile terminal for inventory control
  6. librarian's station for handling loans, returns, programming RFID tags.

The implementation of the RFID system makes it possible to significantly reduce the waiting time for a given book by a reader, mainly thanks to the self-service borrowing station and the drop box for self-service book returns, but also thanks to the fact that an employee at the borrowing and return station can scan multiple books at the same time, which reduces handling time. RFID technology, thanks to the speed and accuracy of book stock control with a mobile terminal, provides the opportunity for more efficient management of resources and librarians' work. All this, in turn, results in increased quality of reader service. In addition, the installed RFID gates alert employees in the event of an attempt to unauthorized removal of a book from the library. Employees are not only alerted to the attempted removal, but are immediately informed which book it is, which makes the task of the security officer easier.

A library with an RFID system is a more efficiently managed facility, easier processes for library staff and a more reader-friendly place.