This one-day presentation and workshop was sponsored by the libraries in SE Wisconsin including Waukesha County Federated Library System and Milwaukee Public, and UW-Milwaukee. The session included a three-hour presentation that introduced RFID technology and then worked through all the issues relevant to libraries considering or using RFID in libraries.
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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.
Collaborative Librarianship has published its first issue of 2013. It looks like a great issue with an editorial by our editor, Ivan Gaetz, entitled "Compelling and Necessary Momentum: A Recent Timeline in Open Access" and an articlbe about Orbis-Cascade Alliance's selection of Alma for their shared library system as just one piece of their merging services.
My column, Technology Matters, talks about the Library Communication Framework. It starts like this...
On June 6, 2012 Library Journal announced that 3M would be donating the copyright for SIP to NISO which would mean that NISO "will now have responsibility for future development and ongoing maintenance of SIP."
The article also correctly points out that
SIP is the de facto standard for communication between library self-service devices and the wide variety of integrated library systems (ILS) that libraries use. It provides the crucial common language that makes possible such widespread functions as self checkouts, automated materials handling systems, PC management systems, or fine and fee payment transactions.
In other words, SIP is really important when we try to integrate ANYTHING with our ILSs. So, given its importance you'd think that there might be something in the works for 2013 at NISO but alas SIP is not the subject of discussion at any of the scheduled 2013 NISO Events.
Debut "Technology Matters" column for Collaborative Librarianship. This article, Holding Your Vendor's Fee to the Fire, talks about the importance of standards in library technology and encourages libraries to be more demanding about the importance of adherence to those standards.
The article begins like this:
"The nut. The bolt. When you go to the hard-ware store with a bolt in hand, you probably feel pretty confident that you’ll be able to find the nut you need to tighten that bolt. When I hand over my bolt to my local Rex Ace Hardware man, he strides down a nearby aisle and within seconds, I’ve got my bolt’s mate. It screws on perfectly. Do I care who made the bolt or the nut? I do not. This is because nuts and bolts have standard on sizes and threads. Any quar-ter inch nut will screw onto any quarter inch bolt.
I've suggested many times that somewhere along the way, we are going to need to find a way to test the encoding of our RFID tags. Now that we have a US Data Model, libraries need to be able to ensure that their encoded tags comply with ISO 28560-2. At this point, the only company that I know of that can do such a thing is Convergent Software (out of the UK).
The objective of the new U.S. Data Model for RFID (NISO Document RP-6-2012) is to create an environment where every library can use every other library’s RFID tag regardless of the supplier. In addition, hardware from any RFID vendor should be interoperable and the systems should be free from proprietary interfaces that make the hardware work with any given ILS. If libraries adopt the U.S.
NISO has finalized their recommendation and the U.S. Data Profile is finally resolved. They've settled on ISO 28560-2 which was the same recommendation in the version they released for public comment. I haven't had a chance to see if there are any changes but will keep you posted.
Having a U.S. Data Profile for Library RFID is fantastic for libraries. Now...all you have to do is put pressure on your vendors to transition your library to the new standard. Interoperability here we come!
SIP3 has just been released and it provides many new messages which means communication between ILS/LMS and your self-check, sorters, security system, PC management system....will be easier to implement and you'll have more options. That is IF your ILS vendor supports it!
So, make sure you start adding a requirement for SIP3 support to your procurement documents.
Here's what's new:
- allow creation / registration of patrons from self-service devices
- allow patrons to update their PINs / Passwords from a self-service device in the library
- allow patrons to update their home addresses and phone numbers
- support for handling electronic resources
- support for staff overrides on self-service circulation
- support for sortation systems
- support for PC Management systems
- added some other new messages simplify implementation and clarify usage
- added Undo Checkout and Undo Check-in messages to simplify implementation. It has been confusing for many developers to send a Check-in w/cancel flag to cancel a Checkout and send a Checkout w/cancel flag to cancel a Check-in. This was confounded by the fact that many ILS vendors did not support cancelling a transaction and would then proceed as a standard check-in (if cancelling a checkout) causing the patron to be removed from the hold list.
- added Off-line Checkout and Off-line Check-in messages to support off-line processing
- added Unsupported Message Response to indicate that the message request is not supported by the library system
- added Grouped data. Data can now be grouped to provide all information required for a specific event. For example, a fee consists of the following fields: fee identifier, currency code, fee amount, and fee type. These fields can now be grouped together to simplify the passing of multiple fees on a single request or response message. Each set of group data starts with a group identifier and ends with a group end field.
It's official....NISO recommends ISO 28560-2. From NISO Newsline: NISO announced the availability of RFID in U.S. Libraries (NISO RP-6-201x) for a thirty day public comment period, beginning immediately and ending on June 9, 2011.