If you haven't signed that RFID contract yet, you may want to set down your pen and check one thing....is the chip in your vendor's RFID tag capable of locking and password-protecting your content as well as the AFI and EAS registers? If not, don't sign that contract. Here's why....
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"ISO tags" can mean a lot of different things. For a long time, when vendors said they had "ISO tags," they meant that the tags comply with ISO-15693 which is a standard that applies to the physical tag itself. That was okay for awhile but now what we are looking for in the physical tag is compliance with ISO 18000-3, Mode 1.
The reason it is important to specify ISO 18000-3, Mode 1 is because of the Application Family Identifier (AFI). This is a special register on the tag. It isn't a field that contains data - I'm not addressing content on the tag in this post. The AFI register is a special feature of the tag separate from the data elements and the chip itself.
So, this AFI register is what the ISO 28560 compliant tag uses for security. And security is more broadly defined than you might think. The AFI, when used properly, indicates that the item to which it is affixed is either a "circulating library item" or a "non-circulating library item." So, not only does it tell your library security gates to alarm when it sees a noncirculating library item leaving the building, it also ensures that security gates at Kohl's ignore your library books. Similarly, when someone walks into your library with an item tagged with an ISO 18000-3 tag (and there are lots of other industries that use them), it ensures that your gates don't alarm.
One of my clients, Salt Lake City Library, is kicking some RFID tagging booty! They are tagging in teams of two using 3M Conversion Stations. While most of the team of averaging about 300 items tagged per hour, one of their energizer bunny teams (not surprisingly from the Children's Department) hit the 650 books in an hour mark. Very impressive!
And if you always wondered what it means to RFID tag your collection, check out these great little videos.
I just got back from attending my first NCIP Standing Committee meeting at OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. It turned out to be a far better experience than I could have imagined. The people working on this committee are dedicated to making NCIP the "go-to" protocol for communications with the ILS/LMS. My objective going there was to possibly challenge that idea insofar as my intention was to introduce them to the Library Communcation Framework (LCF) - a protocol being developed in the U.K. by people who aspire to make LCF the library "go-to" protocol.
Lori Ayre assisted in the selection of an RFID/AMH vendor and planning for the implementation. The project included vendor selection, RFID conversion, selecting and sizing equipment (self-check-ins, self-check-outs, sorters, staff stations), planning remodels, and working with vendor. Cheryl Gould worked with the Library to help define their service model to support their goal of 100% self-check-out.
I have just returned from the UK, where I spoke at the RFID in Libraries Conference. While there, I met with representatives from the Book Industry Communications (BIC) and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) as well as RFID vendors. BIC and CILIP are two UK entities roughly equivalent (very roughly) to the BISG (Book Industry Study Group) and ALA.
Now that we have a national data model, namely ISO 28560-2, it is incumbent on libraries to figure out what to do with it. Given that there are 24 data elements defined in the data model, only two of which are mandatory (Primary Item ID aka barcode and Tag Content Key), how does the library decide which of those optional 22 it will use?
From the Introduction:
It’s an interesting time to be writing an issue devoted to RFID. So much has changed for libraries in the last decade. Ten years ago, it seemed like RFID was poised to take off and become a standard piece of library technology. But standards were slow to develop, and e-books were not. While libraries waited for RFID standards to develop, the iPad and Kindle emerged. As a result, libraries are struggling more with DRM, discovery interfaces, and patron authentication systems than with new technologies focused on their physical material.
I recently participated in a discussion about how to deal with patrons who are nervous about the health effects of RFID. We all know RFID is harmless, right? My answer is that if you are concerned about EMF (electomagnetic radiation exposure), then library RFID tags should be the least of your worries. Notice that I'm not saying RFID is harmless...
Provided cost benefit analysis of RFID and automated materials handling solutions for reducing operating expenses and increasing customer service workflow efficiencies. Worked with library to re-envision interlibrary sorting and delivery operations.