What do librarians really need to know?.
Despite being available for libraries to use for more than 20 years many librarians still seem to know very little about how the technology works or which elements of a typical RFID solution you really need to consider before you buy. This is perhaps in part due to a widespread belief that RFID is simply a barcode replacement technology, rather than a system component with the potential to change almost every aspect of service delivery – not just circulation.
To understand why this view is so popular, why it may have to change and how to avoid becoming trapped in a technological cul-de-sac there are a (relatively) few things that it’s worth investigating – and some initiatives of which you should be aware that are likely to change the way you think about those four letters – RFID.
The first step in this process is to try and forget the ‘ID’ part.
As long ago as 2009 a Cisco TechWise webcast suggested that RFID was no longer just about identification. The true potential of attaching significant amounts of intelligence to assets was, even then, only just beginning to be realised - a lesson now slowly being learned in the library sector.
To understand why it’s not just an ID - and why that matters - it may help to understand how the technology currently fits into the workflow of the majority of library services – and how it’s likely to change.
This short guide is aimed at the largest single group of library RFID users – those who have already invested in a system to manage their library operations variously known as an LMS, ILS or ILMS in the English-speaking world. In this short piece I shall use the term ‘LMS’ as being interchangeable for all variant forms – because, as a Brit, that’s the one I used for much of my working life.
New Procurement Guide published.