For a library environment, is it possible to RFID-tag every item and be capable of locating it via a transponder or mapping system?
Libraries around the world are using passive HF or passive UHF RFID systems on most or all of their books, DVDs, CDs and other items they rent out. RFID automates the check-in and check-out process and helps with inventory management. Typically, libraries put readers in bins in which returned books are stored before they are put back on the shelf. They put readers at the doorway to sound an alarm if a book is removed without being checked out, and they use handheld readers to take inventory of the shelves.
Most libraries do not use a mapping system. There are RFID overhead readers that can provide the locations of the tagged items. These have not yet been tested and deployed in a library, to my knowledge. The amount of metal shelving could prove problematic in libraries.
You can use a handheld reader to take inventory of a shelf or an entire section very quickly, which allows librarians to determine if books are missing that have not been checked out.
Here are some articles we have written about libraries using RFID:
Grand Rapids Library Adopts UHF RFID Technology
The Michigan library believes it is the first public system to use UHF RFID in North America, enabling it to speed up checkout, track check-in, provide security and manage inventory.
In the U.K., Libraries Switch to Self-Serve
Many are eliminating manned checkout counters, and are seeing savings in reduced labor costs for checkouts and returns, while freeing up staff members to spend more time assisting patrons.
Library to Deploy Ultra-Long-Life RFID Tags for Historical Collection
To manage its rare legal documents, the Max Planck Institute for European History of Law plans to use tags promising a 40-year lifespan.
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.
3M Launches Tag Data Manager for Libraries
The software upgrade will enable libraries to add a variety of tag data formats to their RFID systems, and to provide a migration path to the proposed ISO RFID tag data standard.
University of East Anglia's Library Automates Circulation Tasks
The school uses RFID to check out, check in and sort books, freeing staff to provide more research help to library patrons.
RFID Helps CSU Library Automate Sortation, Storage
To increase efficiencies, while helping students study more and search less, the Chicago State University facility uses a system combining RFID with automated material handling.
Hamburg Library Moves to RFID
The city's central library and 17 branches will start deploying a system to manage the circulation of 2 million items per year. Patrons will check materials in and out themselves.
Colorado Library Checks Out RFID
The library is using RFID to streamline circulation and keep better tabs on its collection of more than 1 million items at 10 branches.
New Orleans Library Reopens With RFID
Donations from RFID solutions providers enabled a New Orleans Public Library branch destroyed by Hurricane Katrina to reopen with an RFID infrastructure.
World's Second Largest RFID Library to Open in China
Item-level tagging specialist TAGSYS today announced that its technology will be deployed at the Shenzhen Library in China, where it will be the second largest RFID-enabled library automation system in the world and the largest in China.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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