Blacksburg, VA. – Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) headquartered in Towson, Maryland has purchased VTLS' FASTRAC solution, an asset management system based upon radio frequency identification technology (RFID) for the White Marsh Library.
The FASTRAC system enables White Marsh Library to provide enhanced circulation services to patrons and staff alike. These services include such tasks as multiple-item processing for checkout, check-in and renew functions, as well as patron self-check out. At the same time, FASTRAC provides for rapid, uninterrupted security for all library materials. Using RFID technology, FASTRAC can detect multiple items and multiple material types at the same time in any orientation as patrons pass through the security gates. The scan is immediate and the alarm, audible or visual, is instant. A false alarm is rare.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to provide state of the art technology to enhance customer service and increase access to the collection at the White Marsh Library,” said Beth Babikow, Coordinator, Facilities Services. “We welcome the opportunity to test the use of RFID and share project progress and results with our fellow Maryland libraries. The BCPL RFID vendor evaluation team was impressed with FASTRAC and the support services offered by VTLS and we look forward to forging an on-going working relationship with the VTLS staff.”
As White Marsh Library patrons enjoy the self-checkout stations, the staff will be taking advantage of faster and more accurate collection management, not to mention less time with repetitive, clerical tasks. FASTRAC can scan over 100,000 books in less than a day and supports both batch and real-time inventory control. Processing materials has never been faster with rapid inventories and search modes that allow for quick identification and processing of requests, wireless weeding, and book returns that do the work for the staff.
“FASTRAC is the fastest and most efficient implementation of RFID on the market today” said Carl Grant, President of VTLS Inc. “FASTRAC is designed to eliminate single points of failure, reduce your overall cost of ownership, and do it all faster than ever. We have leveraged our ILS experience to create a powerful RFID solution for your library regardless of your current ILS”
BCPL chose VTLS FASTRAC to provide library customers with access to innovative library services, delivered in an efficient and effective manner. Funding for the project was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, LSTA grant funds, the Division of Library Development and Services and the Maryland State Department of Education. The FASTRAC RFID project at the White Marsh Library will be a test bed for the potential benefits of using RFID in a Maryland public library. Anyone interested in the project can track its progress using the BCPL White Marsh RFID project log. It can be found at www.bcpl.info/rfid.
BCPL is an all branch system. It consists of 16 libraries and three bookmobiles. The library system has a collection of over 1.8 million items and an annual circulation of over 9.5 million. The White Marsh Library is a 15,000 square foot building adjacent to a major retail mall. On average 1,000 customers visit each day. White Marsh Library circulated over 617,000 items in FY 2003. BCPL is using a phased in approach with the goal of being completely implemented by April 2004.
About VTLS Inc.
VTLS Inc. (www.vtls.com) is an ISO 9001 quality certified company. By focusing on customers and anticipating their needs, VTLS has succeeded in becoming an international leader in integrated library automation, digital imaging services and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. VTLS products and services have helped to create smarter academic and public libraries, museums, archives and corporate research repositories throughout the United States, Canada, and 32 other countries. A diverse customer base of more than 900 libraries gives VTLS a global perspective of the industry and compels the company to abide by strict international standards.