Daily work flow of a librarian includes, among other things, checking in and out of books for readers. Using RFID, we can read all the information on the book tag and check it in our out instantaneously it can be read from RFID tags much faster than from barcodes and that we can do this for several books in a stack at the same time.
RFID based library management system integrates the security tagging ( Electromagnetic strips - EM) and library classification information tag ( barcode) into single RFID tag, the RFID tag is then used for checking in/out of the book and security at the gates. Moreover RFID tags are said to have life expectancy of 50 years and withstand 100,000 transactions ( memory re-write). this makes replacement of a tag very infrequent activity in the lifetime of the book.
Our RFID based Library management system is one of our IoT enabled technology where by it incorporates smart book drop bin, which enables self check in operation. When a reader returns a book on book drop bin, it will read the RFID tag, connect to the system and check the book in as returned. These Book Drops can be deployed locally in the library or remotely in schools, shopping malls, box office or even out on the street in a secured book drop kiosk.
As a unique feature of RFID systems, the shelf management component of the RFID based Library management system have the ability to scan books on the shelves for inventory purposes without tipping them out or removing them. A hand-held inventory reader can be moved rapidly across a shelf of books to read all of the unique identification information. Using wireless technology, it is possible not only to update the inventory, but also to identify items which are out of proper order.
Inovosystems has deployed many RFID based solutions, one of which is the famous RFID based Library management system. The solution is composed of HF or UHF tag, Librarians station, conversion station, Self check-in/out station, Smart book-drop station, shelf management solution, patron card and RFID tag production solution.
Converting your library from a barcode system to RFID based technology offers value to your library, librarians and users. The librarian station will make circulation efficient, shelf management component will enable inventory activities smooth and slash the time by 300% which will enable you to avoid closing library for inventory; the integrated RFID tag will handle your security much better than EM strips as well as storing the classification information and last but not least your library will be IoT ready with integrated smart devices such as smart return bin and many more.
As in all other solutions provided by inovosystem, this solution is also modular and client can choose the relevant solutions and repackage the solution to the best fit of the intended end goal. The unique features offered include
RFID tag is a small microchip label that is put on the book, cd, dvd or any other library material like a sticker on the back cover close to the spine of the book.It is used to print barcode label on one side ( just for data surety and legacy systems) and encode information on the microchip memory bank. It stores information relating to the specific book to which they are attached. The data within a tag may vary from library to library however it generally includes the dewey classification number , isbn number , or other identification code for the book, proof of ownership, original storage location, loan status and history etc.
The chip is made up of of an integrated circuit and an antenna and servers as a transponder which enables it to collect the energy in the form of a Radio Frequency (RF) field emitted by a scanner (reader device); When a tag is energized by a radio signal from a fixed position reader or handheld scanner, the tag returns the stored information which is then read by the scanner and decoded.
RFID EAS Gate is the Security gates used to detect RFID tag that is equipped with EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) and read the check in or out status of the book off the RFID tag thereby enabling the librarian to institute security on the entrance and exit of the library. Each lane is able to track items of 1 meter or more and would trigger the alarm system when an un-borrowed item passed through them. The alarm will sound and lights on the gate will flash as patron passes through with the library material.
Theft detection is an integral feature of the chip within the tag. It is a stand-alone technology, which operates independently of the library database.
The Librerian Station is composed of a computer (workstation), RFID reader, RFID antenna, Barcode reader (optional for verification) RFID tag encoder or printer for( bulk tagging); and is used for operations like as issue, return, tagging, sorting and etc. It is loaded with arming/disarming module, tagging module and sorting module. Arming/Disarming module allows EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) bit inside the tag of the library material to be set/reset so as to trigger/not trigger the alarm of the EAS gate. Checking of EAS status of library material is easy. The staff puts the item on the reader and click on the view to display the information stored inside the tag and status of EAS. There are also feature of Auto Arming and Auto Disarm. Auto Arm/Disarm will automatic arm/disarm library material that is within the Reader range.
Together with circulation module from Integrated Library Software, this station is used for the following services:
The Conversion or tagging Station is where books are tagged with RFID tags , and incase of barcoded books it is the station used to convert barcoded books to RFID Based tagging.
The conversion station is a self contained station which is made up of the following components:
The Patron Self Check station is basically a computer with a touch screen and a built-in RFID reader, plus special software for personal identification, book and other media handling and circulation. After identifying the patron with a library ID card, a barcode card, or his personal ID number (PIN), the patron is asked to choose the next action (check-out of one or several books). After choosing check-out (issue), the patron puts the books on sensor area of RFID reader and the display will show the book title and its ID number (other optional information can be shown if desired) which have been checked out.
The patron then confirms that he has finished the check-out process and a receipt is printed, showing which books have been borrowed and the due date. The RFID tag in the book is EAS off as a result no alarm will go off at EAS gates.
It is also possible to use the station for Check-In (return) of books. Chooses return and then puts one book or a stack of books onto the reader. Patron will receive a receipt. If the books were to be taken through the gate now, an alarm would sound.
One important point for library productivity is that the whole process is significantly less time consuming than with barcode and Electro-magnetic system; therefore long lines are avoided and fewer stations are needed for the same process.
- Speeds up book check-out / check-in
- Frees staff to better service to patrons
- Better space planning
- Increases membership rate
- Easy to use: books can be read in any orientation
- Reduces queuing time
- Provides patron privacy
- Encourages patrons to come back
The Shelf Management Solution (inventory system) is the most revolutionary component of the whole RFID based library management system that can reduce the inventory process of library by more than 300%. In our previous projects we actually managed to complete an inventory of a small library of 3000 books with in 10 minutes which use to take about a day.
The shelf management system or Inventory solution performs two main functions
Inventory (stock taking ) is performed by sweeping handheld RFID scanner scanner across the spines of the books on the shelves to gather their identities. In an inventory check situation, the identities collected are compared with the database and a discrepancy report could be generated.
In situations when search function is required, whether for a particular item or an item category, the information is first entered into the handheld RFID scanner from the base station, and when the enlisted book is found on the shelves, a built-in beeper sound to alert the librarian scanning.
This component is IoT enabled smart bin that can read RFID tags on the books and communicate to the system from any remote location to check in a returned book. This offers unprecedented flexibility and convenience of returning library items at anytime of the day, even when the library is closed.
Once the central system has successfully accepted the return of the book and records are updated then the bin will acknowledge the return of the book and prints our a receipt for the user. in cases where updating of the record of borrowed book is not possible or failed the bin will return the book prompting the user to try again.
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