Washington County, Oregon: The two Hillsboro Public Library branches (Main and Shute Park) are the first Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) member libraries scheduled to flip the switch and begin use of a new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system. Preparation for the official launch will begin at the Hillsboro Libraries on President's Day with the placement of new security gates and RFID enabled self-service checkout machines. The official ribbon cutting for the RFID launch will be held at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, February 23 during an RFID Open House celebration at the Hillsboro Main Library (2850 NE Brookwood Parkway, Hillsboro).
Honored guests and speakers for the Open House celebration include WCCLS Director, Eva Calcagno, Hillsboro Library Director, Mike Smith and 3M – Library Systems Senior Account Executive, Al Skinner.
According to Calcagno, "the ultimate goals of the RFID project are to improve customer service, productivity, and security by deploying RFID tags and equipment to all WCCLS member libraries over the next six to eight months. The implementation of the service at our first two member locations marks a significant milestone for this countywide project."
During the Open House representatives will demonstrate the full functionality of all RFID system components. RFID tagging offers a tremendous savings for member libraries by increasing staff efficiency, as well as helping to get borrowed items back and into the hands of waiting patrons much faster. It will also enable staff to conduct regular inventories of collections, something that is cost-prohibitive with the current barcode tagging system.
The RFID project enables WCCLS to upgrade old security gates or install new gates where needed at every library, upgrade staff workstations to be RFID enabled, upgrade or replace current self-service checkout machines, and purchase and place RFID tags on 1.6 million library items. The project is funded from accumulated savings and dedicated technology reserves.
Currently 320,000 items in the WCCLS collection have been tagged to be compatible with the RFID system. The Hillsboro Libraries represent 254,110 of those items. The balance of the total is represented by the initial conversion of the Beaverton City Library collection which began at the end of January. Beaverton Main and Murray Scholls branches are the next in line for RFID tagging. Over the course of the next six months all 15 of the WCCLS member libraries will be converted to the RFID system. Installation of security gates and other equipment upgrades will continue to happen gradually as each library conversion is completed.
To learn more about the WCCLS RFID project visit: www.wccls.org/RFID
The Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS), includes the: Banks Public Library, Beaverton City Library, Beaverton City Library @ Murray Scholls, Cedar Mill Community Library, Cedar Mill Community Library @ Bethany, Cornelius Public Library, Forest Grove City Library, Garden Home Community Library, Hillsboro Public Libraries (Main and Shute Park), North Plains Public Library, Sherwood Public Library, Tigard Public Library, Tualatin Public Library, and West Slope Community Library.