Kingston Frontenac Public Library, located in Ontario, Canada, recently completed the installation of RFID technology in the Library’s 17 branches. All materials throughout the system were tagged, and Express Checkout Terminals were installed in 4 of the city libraries.
The implementation of RFID at Kingston followed a thorough analysis of multiple vendors. At the end of the evaluation process, the Library chose Libramation for the modern ‘look and feel’ of the RFID units and the system’s highly intuitive staff interface. The RFID project has already yielded numerous benefits with Library users checking out their own
materials at a rate of nearly 60%. At the Turner Branch, the Library installed a sorting system that automatically places returns in their appropriate bin and prepares the items for transportation to their destinations. As a result, the Library has been able to free up resources, create better work conditions and improve the services it offers to the community at large.
"The rationale for RFID was two-fold: the enhancement of services to our users alongside the improvement of the work environment for our staff," says Lester Webb, Manager, Systems and Technical Services at Kingston Frontenac Public Library. "As users are now able to check-out their own materials, circulation staff has more time to provide users with personalized service.
This means helping users select books for example or assisting them with finding information on the Internet. RFID also goes a long way in addressing patron privacy concerns; with self check-out, users feel comfortable borrowing books on any topic. Another important benefit of RFID has also been the increased outreach we have been able to do. With more staff time freed-up, we are able to reach out to more groups, such as seniors, teens and local businesses, and organize more events to promote our services."
"Besides the service and outreach aspects, RFID has also helped improve the ‘physical’ work environment for staff," continues Lester. "As our workforce ages, we found that ailments related to the physical part of the job increased. RFID is helping us to reduce strains and even decrease the amount of keyboard typing."
Realizing reduced strain and greater efficiencies in the Library’s administrative workflow is a central component of the RFID implementation. The system operates by communicating an item’s ID to Vubis Smart, the Library’s Integrated Library System (ILS), telling the ILS to check-in, check-out or renew an item. The ILS then communicates the new status of the item back to the RFID software. Once an item is checked-out, the security bit in the RFID tag is deactivated.
"Check-out, returns and renewals are done through the RFID system’s staff interface," explains Lester. "We had to ensure therefore that the Libramation RFID system and the Vubis Smart ILS would properly interface with one another. This was easily accomplished in a much appreciated effort by Infor’s Professional Services team, which extended the SIP2 protocol to work with Libramation. Looking back on a successful implementation, it is clear that RFID, together with Vubis Smart, has significantly strengthened our technological foundation and will position us to expand our services in the years that lie ahead."
To learn more about RFID solutions, please contact Libramation at 888-809-0099 or www.libramation.com
Libramation is positioned as a leader in library automation equipment technology and ergonomic work environments. We take pride in knowing that our systems and service are continually evolving to meet the needs and expectations of our clients. Libramation’s headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has a sister company Kno-Tech in the Netherlands, and is a member of the Lib-Chip Group of Companies. The company’s ontemporary and functional automation products include Easy-Check Patron units, Automated Material Handling systems and our Lib~Chip RFID Library and Self Check solutions. Libramation has over 500 systems installed throughout North America, Canada and South America.
About Infor Library and Information Solutions
Infor Library and Information Solutions offers libraries and information centers a suite of automation products, including an information portal and federated search application (V-spaces), an Open URL Resolver (V-link), an Integrated Library System (Vubis Smart), and an Electronic Resources Management System (V-sources). Our organization has been at the forefront of library technology for three decades and has a rich history of providing innovative solutions to information centers and libraries worldwide. For more information about our products, visit www.libraries.infor.com