Norcross, GA –March 21, 2011 – As an early adopter of RFID, the Warren-Newport Public Library (IL) could have found itself in the same boat as others who implemented the technology before any library RFID standards were established. The majority of libraries that migrated to RFID in or before 2003, the year that Warren-Newport made its move, came to learn that their proprietary systems could not be adapted to the ISO technology standard. And if a transition path were available, it would require expensive new hardware, retagging the collection, or both. On the other hand, Warren-Newport, like other libraries that chose ITG as their RFID vendor, was able to seamlessly transition from its original proprietary system to an ISO based system and it didn't cost them a dime.
"We were not contractually obligated to upgrade the systems of our earliest RFID customers but we felt morally obligated to do so. When we sold Warren-Newport its RFID system eight years ago, we made the same ‘golden rule' commitment to them that we make to libraries that buy our systems today: we will support you in the same way that we expect to be supported by the vendors from which we buy," says Shai Robkin, President and CEO of ITG.
The transition to a new RFID technology standard required replacement of much of Warren-Newport's RFID hardware with equipment that could read both the proprietary tags and ISO tags simultaneously. This included individual RFID readers at staff stations, self-checkout stations and the sorting system as well as entire security gates. "It was an expensive undertaking but we were rewarded in a number of ways. In addition to knowing that we were doing right by our customers, we also learned a lot about successful migrations. As a result of the work that we did at Warren-Newport and other libraries, ITG has become the unchallenged address for libraries that began RFID with one vendor and look to move to another," states Scott Hackstadt, ITG's CTO. "Libraries don't always choose us first," adds Robkin, "but with rare exception, they always chose us second."
In addition to being an early adopter of RFID, Warren-Newport was ITG's very first customer to implement an automated materials handling (AMH) system. Installed in the summer of 2004, the 5-bin sorter has been working non-stop, processing every one of the library's approximate 1.4 million returns each year. "I was here when we decided to go with RFID and was intimately involved in implementing the technology. More than anything else, the sorter was a total efficiency game changer," comments Kevin Getty, Warren-Newport's head of technology. "I can't imagine today how we ever managed without it. And we have rarely had to manage without it since during the entire time we have had it, the sorter has required servicing less than a handful of times."
Warren-Newport is currently undergoing renovation which will allow space to expand its ITG sorter to nine bins. "It's terrific that the system is designed to be upgraded so easily and inexpensively," says Director Stephen Bero, "Over the course of the many years that we have worked with ITG, we have learned that we can count on them to work in partnership with us as technology has changed or as we have made changes. We recently migrated to Innovative's Millennium from another ILS and all of our ITG systems transitioned seamlessly."
About the Integrated Technology Group
ITG (www.integratedtek.com) develops, markets, and supports library automation technologies that empower librarians to make operations more efficient and better serve their patrons. ITG's products include patron self-checkout, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Automated Materials Handling (AMH) systems, library materials security, public computer reservation, and print management. With over 30 years experience in the library industry, ITG combines smart technology and progressive design to create standard solutions that can be easily customized to meet site-specific requirements. ITG, a division of Vernon Library Supplies, Inc., is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia.
About the Warren-Newport Public Library District
Founded in 1973, the Warren-Newport Public Library District serves a population of approximately 60,000 within a 55-square mile area that covers all or most of Warren and Newport Townships, including Gurnee, Wadsworth, Park City, Wildwood, Grandwood Park, Old Mill Creek, and portions of Grayslake, Millburn, Lake Villa, Libertyville and Waukegan.