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On the Right Frequency for the Future

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems are widely used in libraries across a range of applications, from making small payments instantly at the point of sale, to monitoring the loan and return of books.

“Used in lending libraries, (RFID) delivers huge benefits in self-service issues and returns, security and stock management.”

An initial clash in the developments of (RFID) data models in the UK market demanded that a national standard be put in place.

In 2008 the Cilip committee was formed to consider how (RFID) systems could be developed across multiple platforms, so industry customers would be able to choose their (RFID) products based on price, quality and service, rather than being tied to one manufacturer or provider.

Since the group’s inception, Mike Chambers has worked on building the UK’s national (RFID) profile. As an employee of 2CQR, a leading provider in the development of (RFID) technology, Mike says, “On joining 2CQR and having seen all the technology to date, I wondered what could be developed which the libraries market would find new and exciting. (RFID) has fulfilled all of my hopes so far, and it shows no signs of abating in the short and medium term.”

Mike explains “Closed (RFID) systems use proprietary data models which may also be encrypted. This means that a closed system cannot be configured for use with other systems by third party suppliers. 2CQR’s work in helping to drive the standardisation of the technology means that library book labels can be read by any (RFID) supplier, increasing interoperability, and hence competition, within the market.”

Fears for personal privacy, as the technology is contact-free and so can be read from a distance, are unfounded as the new standard (UK national profile) excludes such items as the (ISBN) number of the book (for privacy reasons).

As a founding member of the official body created to set (RFID) industry standards in the UK, Mike’s involvement with Cilip is an affirmation of his technical abilities as a leading edge developer.

Used in lending libraries, (RFID) delivers huge benefits in self-service issues and returns, security and stock management. (RFID) technology also enables the shelved stock, when aligned with library management systems, to be exploited and managed without the need to remove books from shelves to be scanned and processed. This ultimately means that the speed and accuracy of the execution of library management can be increased, to the benefit of the overall efficiency and security of libraries.