Posted by Lori Ayre on December 15, 2010

The RFID in Libaries Standard (ISO 28560) moved to Stage 50.20 today.  In other words, the Standard is about two months away from being finalized.

Why do you care?  Because this standard is going to be the basis for a U.S. Data Model standard.  This is what we’ve been waiting for. Finally, a standard that defines how to organize information on a library RFID tag including recommendations for what data elements can be used and which ones are mandatory.

ISO 28560  is composed of three parts. Part 1 applies to everyone, but Part 2 and Part 3 represent two different approaches that can be taken.  In the U.S., most vendors use something closer to Part 3 (fixed encoding).  However, the U.S. Data Profile (and NISO standard) will likely be based on Part 2 (object-based encoding.)

I’ve pulled out a brief description of what Part 1 and Part 2 are designed to accomplish (from the ISO site):

Part 1 (ISO 28560-1)

ISO 28560-1:2010 specifies a model for the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for items appropriate for the needs of all types of libraries, including academic, public, corporate, special and school.

ISO 28560-1:2010 provides the framework to ensure interoperability between libraries in exchange of library items with RFID tags, the freedom of the library to acquire or renew equipment or library items from different vendors and interoperability of a single RFID application from the vendor’s perspective.


ISO 28560-1:2010 specifies a set of data elements and general guidelines for implementation, to meet the needs for:


  • circulation of library items;
  • acquisition of library items;
  • inter-library loan processes;
  • data requirements of publishers, printers and other suppliers of library items;
  • inventory and stock checking of items.

ISO 28560-1:2010 gives guidelines for item security, profiles, privacy, implementation, migration, label design and location of the RFID label.

ISO 28560-1:2010 specifies the data model, system data elements and user data elements to be used in conjunction with ISO 28560-2, ISO 28560-3 and any future parts of ISO 28560.


Part 2 (ISO 28560-2)

ISO 28560-2:2011 specifies a data model and encoding rules for the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for items appropriate for the needs of all types of libraries (including academic, public, corporate, special and school libraries). The rules for encoding a subset of data elements taken form the total set of data elements defined in ISO 28560-1 are based on ISO/IEC 15962, which uses an object identifier structure to identify data elements.

ISO 28560-2:2011 gives guidelines for the choice of the subset of selected data elements defined in ISO 28560-1 for the RFID tags. These subsets of data elements can be different on different items in the same library. The encoding rules also enable the optional data to be organized on the RFID tag in any sequence. In addition, the encoding rules provide for flexible encoding of variable length and variable format data.

ISO 28560-2:2011 provides essential standards-based information about RFID in libraries. A source of additional information about implementation issues is also provided.

For more on this, go to and click on “Standards in Development.”