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Large Swiss Library System Implementing RFID

A library system in Geneva, Switzerland, is installing high frequency RFID systems to manage 700,000 circulating items at 11 branches. Bibliothèques Municipales de Genève is installing more than 100 RFID readers plus management software from TAGSYS as part of the project, and will also tag 80,000 patron ID cards.
Jan 30, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 30, 2008—A library network in Geneva, Switzerland, is currently implementing RFID to track its 700,000 circulating items, and is using RFID on patron ID cards to simplify checkout operations. The Bibliothèques Municipales de Genève (commonly referred to as Bibliothèques or just BM) is using RFID circulation stations and security gates throughout its system, according to TAGSYS, which announced it provided its tags, readers, and management software for the system.

The library system reportedly makes 1.6 million loans and adds 7,600 new patrons each year. It purchased 800,000 TAGSYS Folio high frequency RFID tags, which will be applied to approximately 600,000 books, 100,000 CDs, and 80,000 patron cards, according to TAGSYS. The sale also included 50 security gates, 50 circulation stations, and TAGSYS' e-connectware software to manage the RFID system. Swiss firm Solid Solutions provided system integration services.

The system has been installed in three branches, with eight more scheduled for completion by mid-2008, according to TAGSYS. Bibliothèques Municipales has a French-language page on its website describing the RFID project.

"Because our network makes available an important variety of localization, documents, and patrons, our MIS department must know at all times how the system is performing," Kieran Pavel, Bibliothèques' RFID project manager said in the TAGSYS announcement.

The software manages data from multiple RFID readers and reports in real time. Libraries can use it to get up-to-date occupancy counts to assign staff to various areas of the facility. Circulation stations are used to check materials in and out, process multiple items simultaneously, and enable self-checkout. The security gates send an alert or sound an alarm if they detect a tagged item is leaving the facility without being checked out.

"The Geneva City Libraries house some of the world's most valuable literary and historic tracts, and our RFID systems will ensure those items are safe and accounted for at all times," said Yves Alimi, CEO of Solid.

Libraries are a major market for TAGSYS and appear to be a growing market for RFID. TAGSYS has completed major library projects in Europe, China, and the US, and last summer released a new product line specifically for libraries (see TAGSYS Targets Library and Textile Adoption of RFID). Several retail bookstores are also using RFID to manage their inventory, Byblos Amoreiras of Portugal being the most recent example (see World's Largest Item-Level RFID Application Launches).
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