With the installation of an RFID (radio frequency identification) system, the Rose Creek branch of the Sequoyah Regional Library System has become the first public library in Georgia to adopt this advanced technology for materials management. Patrons are enjoying self-checkout, shorter checkout lines and improved customer service, while the staff is spending more constructive time assisting patrons and less time with repetitive, clerical tasks. The system has a built-in security component that alerts staff when items are removed from the library without authorization. Since RFID tags need not be seen in order to be read, the library will be able to track its materials regularly by waving a portable RFID inventory wand-reader along the base of shelves.
The Sequoyah Library System's state-of-the-art RFID system was developed by Vernon Library Supplies, Inc., a Norcross-based company, in partnership with Tagsys, a world leader in the manufacture of RFID tags and hardware for libraries. Vernon has been manufacturing and distributing products to facilitate library operations for 30 years, focusing on cutting edge technologies. "Our work in the field of RFID technology is a natural extension of the work we've done for well over a decade in barcoding, security, inventory management and patron self-service," comments Vernon president, Shai Robkin.
"RFID is the wave of the future," says Joan Adam, director of the Sequoyah Regional Library System. "This system has provided patrons with an opportunity to self-serve, allowing our staff to spend more time assisting patrons with things they absolutely need help with. RFID has helped us become a more efficient, economical branch."
The self-service component of Vernon's RFID system enables patrons to check out materials without staff assistance. These kiosks are similar to self-checkout units found in some grocery stores, but instead of finding barcodes and scanning each item individually, materials are simply stacked, up to 6" high, on the counter and identified simultaneously by the built-in RFID reader. In the same step, the security mechanism inside each tag is deactivated. It is anticipated that the system's speed and user-friendly features will mean that the vast majority of the branch's circulation will soon be handled without staff intervention.
"RFID addresses several major library issues with one system," says Scott Hackstadt, Director of Technology at Vernon, adding "we have focused on developing products that meet libraries needs in the most cost-effective way."
Scanning shelves at a rate of 10-plus items per second, the portable wand makes stock-taking possible for libraries that in the past could never find time to take proper inventory. The wand may also be used to search for items that may have been mis-shelved.
The Sequoyah Regional Library System chose Vernon's RFID system for its cost-effectiveness and advanced technology. The upgradeable components are available separately, enabling libraries with limited budgets to purchase RFID in one or more parts at a time. In addition to the RFID components installed at the Rose Creek Public Library, Vernon also provides systems for automatic book check-in and sorting.
Vernon is also currently installing library RFID systems in Iowa and Illinois. Learn more about Vernon Library Supplies.