Can RFID Locate Library Books in Real Time?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Locate Library Books in Real Time?
RFID Journal Staff asked 6 years ago

Would it be possible to determine the exact location of a book within a library with the help of an RFID application in which a user would type a book’s title and the application would then pinpoint that volume’s location?

—Name withheld

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Typically, libraries have used passive high-frequency (HF) RFID tags, which have a read range of 1 to 3 feet. Library personnel conduct inventory counts by walking around with a handheld reader, so it would not be possible to provide real-time information regarding the location of a specific book. Some libraries have adopted passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) technology, which offers a read range of 20 feet or so. They also take inventory using handheld units. With passive UHF tags on books, it would be feasible to use phased-array antenna systems or overhead readers to interrogate the tags in real time. To my knowledge, however, no library has yet implemented such a solution.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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