16 August 2011

Programme announcement: Ten years on: the use of RFID technology in library context

By Frank Seeliger

I'm very pleased to announce a two hours panel slot (Wednesday, 17th August, 13.45 till 15.45, Session Room 104) during the 77th IFLA General Conference and Assembly as kick off in this field. This slot was prepared together with the IT section of IFLA, and we were able to win well-known keynote speakers from Europe, North-America and Australia who will give us an introduction into this technology and present some of their cutting-edge findings.

After that you are invited to an informal meeting or get together from 16.00-18.00 in room 204 for to discuss future ways of communicating RFID-aspects into the librarian community and librarianship, as for example our well established Special Interest Group RFID. Our goals are to organize and promote events during the IFLA Congresses, monitor ongoing projects and provide up-to-date information and reports using IFLA information and communication channels. Perhaps we can organize specific task groups to undertake new projects when needed. Another worthwhile objective should be to form international networks of professionals using RFID, as for the moment the cooperation is rather limited to country or language communities.

My contribution will reflect ten years of experiences with now almost 400 libraries using this technology. I will present projects for localisation and inventoring, challenges like constant quality control, how we use round tables as communication platform, our other platforms to comunicate (working group, annual conferences, websites); to put it in a nutshell I will address all RFID-matters that matter in the german speaking context. As first speaker I will give an short introduction into this technology and an overview about the perception of RFID in my own country.

Marshall Breeding (Vanderbilt University, USA) "RFID Technologies in the context of Emerging Library Automation Trends"

Many aspects of technology supporting the automation of libraries are changing rapidly. Service-oriented architecture, Web-based computing, increased integration of social networking concepts, as well as cloud computing such as software-as-a-service characterize this emerging landscape. Products and services making use of RFID technology have to exist in an automation ecosystem increasingly reshaped by these technologies. Breeding will present a view of how RFID and related technologies fit into this evolving environment, some of the challenges involved such as the need for more modern protocols for interoperability, and some of the opportunities enabled for new efficiencies and innovations. He will also review some of the changes in the global RFID business landscape and comment on its implications for libraries that depend on their products and services.

Mick Fortune (Consultant for UK libraries)

A former Systems Librarian at the British Library Mick Fortune also managed Ameritech Library Systems European Division and led Nielsen BookNet during a career in library automation that has lasted almost 40 years.

Since returning to the library scene in 2006 he has been monitoring the progress of RFID in libraries with a particular interest in the integration and of RFID solutions with existing systems and their impact on services. A member of both the UK national committee on RFID use in the library, and the British Standards Institute Mick has worked hard to convince the UK market of the importance of standards to improve both interoperability and integration.

Mick will be reviewing the progress of RFID in libraries with particular reference to his domestic market the UK. In particular he will be examining the likely impact of the new ISO data standards published earlier this year, and how the position taken by UK RFID providers is likely to change both the procurement and development of solutions in the future.

Edmund Balnaves (Director, Information Technology by Prosentient Systems in Ultimo, NSW, Australia and member of IT-section as Information Coordinator & Editor of Newsletter)

RFID is showing progressive takeup in logistics but very little in the retail chain in Australia. However there has been quite widespread adoption of HF and a smattering of UHF implementations of RFID in public libraries. Of the 400-odd special libraries that form my client base only a smattering use RFID at all.

While the UHF technology looks very promising, both from a cost and reading point of view, the HF implementation is self-fulfilling in Australia as most "standard-form" tender documents mandate the specific technology. From a purely technical point of view the Gen 2 UHF tags are otherwise quite attractive and have some utility in stocktake that can't be said of HF.

Libraries should be careful not to lock in the specific technology but aim for data standards. This is particuarly empahsised by recent innovations in printable RFID at Sunchon National University.

Further information about this Special Group RFID can be found at:


Information Technology, Information technology

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