Books, books, books! It is my purpose in life to read each and every book that exists, in hope that one day I’d even write my own book. You know how all girls’ dream is to have that huge walk in closet filled with clothes, designers’ shoes and bags? Yeah, well that’s not mine! I dream of a breathtaking library, one that resembles Belle’s from Beauty and the Beast. I would love to be “the librarian” however, managing a substantial amount of books is rather exhausting; there must be an automated way to control the huge amounts of books and there are actually several ways to do so. Many organizations, however, overlook the fact that books are a part of their fixed assets. Books, like any other tangible fixed asset are considered as the company’s asset base, thus should be tracked and managed just like any other fixed asset. Will an RFID library management system be the solution? Let’s see.

Back in the day, managing books involved a circulation card and then with time and as technology advanced, it moved to a computer based system using a barcode system. Although, barcode helped a little bit in streamlining the workflow in libraries, still it wasn’t able to fulfill the desired outcomes in terms of speed and accuracy. Barcode system is a slow technology that requires a direct line of sight which consumed a lot of time in order to scan each and every book individually.

So, in an attempt to solve the issues that barcodes failed to tackle, RFID emerged to the surface and overcame all the obstacles related to security concerns, automation, cost control, tracking fixed assets etc. Today, RFID reached to libraries as well in order to keep them efficient and have control over the books. RFID library management system enables tracking of  books through radio waves in order to monitor and control circulation transactions and take inventory. With an RFID library management system, libraries are able to identify & locate all the books in a way that speeds up the entire inventory process and enhance the users’ experience by increasing product availability & delivering faster checkouts which in return improves circulation and inventory control in order to optimize allocation of resources and labor.

An RFID tag is a very thin electronic read/write chip that bears data (like the ID number, security bit, information to support sorting system) where it can be updated when needed which reduces time wasted sorting through to find information.  It is flexible where it could be very easily attached onto everything. This RFID tag could be placed on the inside cover of each book, and/or CD’s in the library and can be used for more than 100,000 transactions before needing to replace them.

RFID library management system holds many advantages over traditional barcodes and contributes to realizing considerable labor and cost savings. Basically, the main purpose of an RFID library management system is to free up the librarian from duties that doesn’t require interactions with people in order to mind tasks that actually involves more interactions and attention. When integrating an RFID library management system, the staff can acquire data regarding all the books available in just a click of a button due to the fact that all books are tagged with an RFID tag and the time of completing an inventory of the library is reduced as well thus reducing staff duties and the time required to accomplish those duties. This means that with an RFID library management system,  libraries can reduce their professional employees of routine work and operational tasks and they can be released for more productive and interesting duties. RFID library management system will also detect whether or not the books are placed in the right place. In this way, the staff can focus on face-to-face services and increase their efficiency.

An RFID library management system grants a great deal of reliability to an organization, since the system detects the exact place of the books and which are moving in or out. Not to mention, its ability to deter theft. I wouldn’t call it book theft, though. We’re family, and we just met. And I’m just going to take my baby back home. Because that’s where it belongs. With me.

Moreover, RFID library management system speeds up the borrowing and return procedures as books can be checked out independently by the borrower without any intervention of library staff. An RFID library management system makes circulation faster and easier. Borrowers using self-charging finds it very convenient because they can charge several items at the same time. This is a particular advantage to scientific libraries, where recently published books often experience a high demand.

Furthermore, an RFID library management system enables a self-service checkout and check in which is so appealing to people as they will no longer have to wait in line to return or take a book, due o the fact that RFID readers can gather information of a huge stack of books at once and from a distance. Thus, increasing the number of satisfied customers.

In Singapore, all the libraries have implemented an RFID library management system to manage and track their books. You can also find an RFID library management system in public and academic libraries in USA. New Hanover Counter Public Library in North Carolina and City Library at Santa Clara California were among the early adopters of an RFID library management system.

In essence, all libraries should consider adopting an RFID library management system due to the fact that it adds value to the library and increases efficiency as well as have a better service. An RFID library management system also improves the library’s workflow and increase productivity. By integrating an RFID library management system, libraries will attain an ultimate form of security, organization, efficiency and convenience.

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