ST. PAUL, Minn. – June 21, 2010 – With more than 1,000 RFID systems installed, the list of satisfied customers of 3M Library Systems continues to grow. New library customers choosing 3M RFID, along with productivity data from established customers, demonstrate that RFID is a wise investment for libraries, lowering operating costs while improving staff and patron satisfaction.
Customers report smooth and fast conversions to RFID, using tools like the 3M Conversion Station, which can tag more than 400 items an hour, the industry’s highest reported rate. A team at the Wilson County Public Library in North Carolina reported a peak rate of 1,000 items per hour, and an efficient conversion overall of the 150,000-item collection. At New Mexico’s Farmington Public Library, 140,000 items were converted in just two weeks.
After conversion is complete, the rate of patron self-service is what truly makes the difference, and 3M RFID systems have the industry’s highest reported rates in this category as well. The Gail Borden Public Library in Illinois reports a self-service rate of 92 percent, which has allowed the library to open a new branch without adding staff. The Farmington Public Library reports an even higher rate—nearly 100 percent self-service for checkouts. This rate of self-service has allowed the library to withstand significant budget cuts without reducing its hours or the size of its collection.
In addition to self-service, other uniquely designed productivity tools are making a distinct difference for customers, accomplishing tasks like weeding their collection, recovery of missing items, finding holds, performing inventory, and shelf management. With 3M’s RFID architecture, the 3M Digital Library Assistant (DLA) boosts productivity by automating these functions, something most RFID systems can’t do with a portable handheld solution. The DLA, a cordless, handheld device that instantly reads 3M RFID Tags, has become part of the daily operations at the Wheaton Public Library in Illinois, and the library reports that is has located approximately 1,000 missing books with the tool. At the Plymouth Public Library in Massachusetts, the staff is saving 45 minutes each day searching the shelves for its "pick list" with the DLA. In Michigan, the Kent District Library has handled a 20 percent annual increase in circulation for the past three years without adding circulation staff, thanks to its use of 3M RFID and the DLA.
Cases like these demonstrate that 3M RFID generates an appreciable return on investment compared to traditional RFID systems assembled together by integrators. With a much faster conversion from barcodes, high self-service rates and real, improved productivity in collection management, 3M's service is helping more than 1,000 libraries in six states efficiently meet their increasing demands and serve patrons.
For more information about the 3M Library Systems solutions, visit http://www.3m.com/library or stop by 3M's booth, #1703, at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition, June 25 – June 28 in Washington, DC.
About 3M Library Systems
3M Library Systems is the only company that develops, designs, and manufactures cutting-edge conversion, circulation, collection management, and security solutions. Finding the technology solution that is right for our customers, 3M's promise is to deliver a long term partnership that is built to exceed their expectations. For more information about 3M Library Systems, visit http://www.3m.com/library.