1) How can passive RFID tags, self-check-in and checkout kiosks, staff stations for circulations desks, handheld readers, security gates and middleware be integrated with Koha's library-management software?
2) How can book data be written to RFID chips?
3) Would we first write data to a chip and then affix it to a book, or vice versa?
4) How would the architectural systems design of RFID technology be integrated with Koha software?
5) What is the system requirement for the smooth installation and integration of this RFID library-management system?
Here are the answers to your questions:
1) There are many library solutions on the market from 3M, Bibliotheca and other companies. These firms might have written an application programming interface (API) between their software and Koha's library-management software. If not, then you would need to hire a systems integrator to install the equipment and write the API. This might not be a huge job since the RFID system essentially updates a database about a book's status, and the software would just need to pull information from that database.
2) It depends. You could buy tags with serial numbers pre-encoded and then link those numbers to the specific books on which they are used. You could also write data to the transponders before putting them on the books, using a desktop RFID reader.
3) Generally speaking, it would be best to affix a tag to each book and then associate the tag's serial number with the book.
4) I am unfamiliar with Koha's software, so I cannot answer this question. I suggest you contact a company that offers RFID-based library-management solutions.
5) Many libraries now use RFID, so it is possible to find a company that can do the job effectively. There is also a lot of information available on the Internet. See, for example, A Guide to RFID in Libraries.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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