RFID makes it possible for a library item such as a book to be easily tracked. This technology is synonymous to the cell phone concept. RFID broadly describes various technologies that make use of radio waves to identify objects or people. Various methods of identifying objects exist, and the most common is storage of serial numbers in identifying persons or objects. A microchip is fitted onto an antenna and the antenna enables the transmission information to a reader. Once the information reaches the reader, it is converted into digital information that can be used by computers.
RFID for lib libraries
RFID can be used in libraries to enhance operations and to prevent theft of library materials. They systems that use RFID systems move beyond security to enhance the security tracking systems in every corner of the library. This includes speedy inventorying, discharge, and handling of materials. The RFID technology helps librarians to reduce the staff time that could be used in charging and discharging various library items. The information that the microchips bear is read through the use of radio frequency technology regardless of how the item is oriented. This means that the RFID technology does not require any line-of-sight which is traditionally done by the antique detection systems.
Components of an RFID system
An RFID system is made up of four major components. These are:
- A server which hosts the software that interacts with the library system.
- Readers and sensory that can be used to query tags
- RFID tags whose programming is done in a unique manner.
The hub of the RFID system is an RFID tag. The RFID tag can be fixed at the back a book or inscribed on CDs. The RFID tag has an antenna and a chip that can be programmed. Each tag can host an antenna that has a capacity of around 64 bits. The three main types of tags are “read/write”, “Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM)”, and “read only”. “Read only” tags are the ones whose identification is done by the manufacturer and the data cannot be rewritten.
A radio frequency module is fitted in the RFID readers to help in interrogation of electronic tags. The reader helps the antennae to produce a radio frequency field. Once a tag crosses the field, the information that the chip has is deduced by the reader and later relayed to a server. The server communicates with the system of the library system.
There are exit gate sensors at the exit of the library. The reader reads the information inscribed on the tags through the use of radio frequency technology. Once the server receives the information and checks it on the database, and turns on an alarm if the material is checked out in an improper manner.
The readers found in the RFID library have various uses. They act as conversion stations that write library data on tags.