Data collection technology

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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a new generation of Auto identification and data collection technology that helps automating business processes and also allows identification of tagged objects like books, using radio waves.

Among the many uses of RFID technology is the deployment in libraries. This technology has now slowly begun to replace the traditional barcodes used on library items (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.). The RFID tag can contain identifying information, such as a book's title or material type, without having to be pointed to a separate database.


A library is a place where there is a collection of sources, resources, services, and the structure in which it is housed. A library is organized for use and is maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual. In traditional sense, a library is a collection of books. It can mean the collection, the building or room that houses such a collection, or both. The term "library" has acquired a secondary meaning, which is: "a collection of useful material for common use," and in this sense is used in various fields such as computer science, mathematics, statistics, electronics and biology.

Public and institutional collections and services may be wished for use by people who choose not to, or cannot afford to purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research. In addition to providing materials, the services of librarians are also provided who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs.

2.1 Types of Libraries:-

There are different types of libraries which are based on their utility by the entity (institution, municipality, or corporate body) that supports or uses them

  1. Academic libraries
  2. Corporate libraries
  3. Government libraries, such as national libraries
  4. Historical society libraries
  5. Private libraries
  6. Public libraries
  7. School libraries
  8. Special libraries

Libraries are also based by the type of documents or materials they hold

  1. Data libraries
  2. Digital libraries
  3. Picture (photograph) libraries
  4. Slide libraries
  5. Tool libraries

And by the subject matter of documents they hold

  1. Architecture libraries
  2. Fine arts libraries
  3. Law libraries
  4. Medical libraries
  5. Theological libraries (See: Theological Libraries and Librarianship)

And at last by the users they serve

  1. Military communities
  2. Users who are blind or visually/physically handicapped

2.2 Academic Libraries:-

An academic library is that type of a library which serves an institution of higher learning, such as a college or a university. These type of libraries serve two complementary purposes: 1) to support the school's curriculum, and 2) to support the research of the university faculty and students.

The support of teaching requires material for class readings, and for student papers. In the past, the material for class readings, intended to supplement lectures as prescribed by the instructor, has been called reserves. In the period before electronic resources became available, the reserves were supplied as actual books or as photocopies of appropriate journal articles. Traditionally, one copy of a book was made available for each 10 students - this is obviously practical for large classes only if paperback copies are available, and the books reused from term to term.

2.3 Management and Organization of Library:-

The basic tasks in library management consist of the planning of acquisitions, library classification of the acquired materials, preservation of materials in the library(especially rare and fragile archival materials such as manuscripts), the de-accessioning of materials, the patron borrowing of materials, and the developing and administering of library computer systems. More long-term issues include the planning & construction of new libraries and/or extensions to existing ones, and also the development and implementation of outreach services and reading-enhancement services (such as adult literacy and children's programming).

Libraries have materials that are arranged in a specific order according to a library's classification system, so that needed items may be located quickly and collections may be browsed efficiently. There are some libraries that have additional galleries which are beyond the public ones, where the reference materials are stored. These reference stacks are open only to selected members of the public, while others require patrons to submit a "stack request," that is a request for an assistant to retrieve the material needed from the closed stacks.

Larger libraries are broken down into departments that are staffed by both paraprofessionals and professional librarians.

  • Circulation- Handles user accounts and the loaning/returning and shelving of materials.
  • Collection Development - Orders materials and maintains materials budgets.
  • Reference - Staffs a reference desk answering user questions (using structured reference interviews), instructing users, and developing library programming. Reference may be further broken down by user groups or materials; common collections are children's literature, young adult literature, and genealogy materials.
  • Technical Services - Works behind the scenes cataloguing and processing new materials and deaccessioning weeded materials.
  • Stacks Maintenance - Re-shelves materials that have been returned to the library after patron use and shelves materials that have been processed by Technical Services. Stacks Maintenance also shelf reads the material in the stacks to ensure that it is in the correct library classification order.

2.4 Library Security Systems:-

For the management of a library its security is a key and important aspect. The main goal of the security system should be to provide a safe and secure facility for library resources and equipment, and library patrons and also the protection of the library and its collections from theft and vandalism.

There are many library security systems like:-

  • barcode
  • EM (electro magnetic)


In brief, the RF in RFID stands for "radio frequency" and the "ID" means "identifier." The tag itself consists of a computer chip and an antenna, often printed on paper or some other flexible medium. The shortest metaphor is that RFID is like a barcode but is read with an electro-magnetic field rather than by a laser beam. The similarity ends there. RFID is an advanced technology compared to barcodes. The RFID tag does not have to be visible to be read; instead, it can be read even when it is embedded in an item, such as in the cardboard cover of a book or the packaging of a product. It can also carry a more complex message than a barcode, which is limited to an identification number. The chip that is part of the RFID tag can carry many bytes of information, which means that it has the potential to carry not only the item number used by a library but also information such as the title of the book and/or its call number. The size of the information payload of RFID chips is one of the features that will undoubtedly expand as future technology advances allow the creation of smaller and more powerful chips.

A key thing to understand about RFID is that it isn't a single technology; there are hundreds of different RFID products on the market today, and new ones appearing constantly. There are the RFID tags that are used for automated toll-taking for cars that can be read from many feet away as cars speed along highways. There are those that are in the card keys that many of us use to gain entry to our office buildings by swiping the card within a few inches of a pad by the office door. There are chips that are used to track animals on farms or identify lost pets, and others that help warehouses manage the inventory of pallets of goods. The Food Drug Administration is considering the use of RFID to identify drugs and prevent counterfeiting, and there may be a use for RFID in DVD's to prevent movie piracy. These are all very different technologies that work on the same principle. What varies is the amount of information the tag carries, the range in which it can be read, the frequency of its radio waves, its physical size, and of course its cost. The tags used in libraries today are among the lower priced tags, with short read ranges and limited functionality, yet even within a single library the technology can vary based on the need at that particular station. For example, where RFID is used to read shelves a narrow range is needed so that the reader doesn't pick up items on shelves above or below the one being read; yet a circulation check-out station will be designed to handle a stack of books at a single read.

3.2 Primary Components Of RFID Devices:-

RFID devices have three primary elements: a chip, an antenna, and a reader. A fourth important part of any RFID system is the database where information about tagged objects is stored.

1. The chip, usually made of silicon, contains information about the item to which it is attached. Chips used by retailers and manufacturers to identify consumer goods may contain an Electronic Product Code ("EPC").The EPC is the RFID equivalent of the familiar universal product code ("UPC"), or bar code, currently imprinted on many products. Bar codes must be optically scanned, and contain only generic product information. By contrast, EPC chips are encrypted with a unique product code that identifies the individual product to which it is attached, and can be read using radio frequency. These codes contain the type of data that product manufacturers and retailers will use to track the authenticity and location of goods throughout the supply chain.

An RFID chip may also contain information other than an EPC, such as biometric data (a digitized image of a fingerprint or photograph, for example).12 In addition, some chips may not be loaded with information uniquely identifying the tagged object at all; so-called "electronic article surveillance systems" ("EAS") may utilize

2.The Antenna:-

The antenna attached to the chip is responsible for transmitting information from the chip to the reader, using radio waves. Generally, the bigger the antenna, the longer the read range. The chip and antenna combination is referred to as a transponder or, more commonly, as a tag.

3. The Reader:-

The reader, or scanning device, also has its own antenna, which it uses to communicate with the tag. Readers vary in size, weight, and power, and may be mobile or stationary. Although anyone with access to the proper reader can scan an RFID tag,RFID systems can employ authentication and encryption to prevent unauthorized reading of data. "Reading" tags refers to the communication between the tag and reader via radio waves operating at a certain frequency. In contrast to bar codes, one of RFID's principal distinctions is tags and readers can communicate with each other without being in each other's line-of-sight. Therefore, a reader can scan a tag without physically "seeing" it. Further, RFID readers can process multiple items at one time, resulting in a much-increased (again as compared to UPC codes) "speed of read."

The pictures on the opposite page show various RFID readers: ath stationary reader that could be used to track tagged cases of goods entering a warehouse a mobile reader used to monitor inventory on a retail store floor ; and a prototype of a glove embedded with a scanner used to track daily domestic living activities .

The Database:-

The database, or other back-end logistics system, stores information about RFID-tagged objects. Access to both a reader and its corresponding database are necessary before information stored on an RFID tag can be obtained and understood.

Although all RFID systems have these essentials components, other variables effect the use or set of applications for which a particular tag is appropriate. As discussed further below key factors include whether the tag used is active or passive what radio frequency is used the size of the antennas attached to the chip and to the reader; what and how much information can be stored on a tag; and whether the tag is "read/write" or "read-only." These factors affect the read ranges of the systems as well as the kind of object that can usefully be tagged. They also impact the cost, which is an especially important commercial consideration when tagging a large volume of items.

3.3 Types Of Tags:-

There are three different types of tags differentiated by how they communicate and how that communication is initiated:

  1. Passive Tags:- the Passive tags have no onboard power source - meaning no battery - and do not initiate communication. A reader must first query a passive tag, sending electromagnetic waves that form a magnetic field when they "couple" with the antenna on the RFID tag." Consistent with any applicable authorization, authentication, and encryption, the tag will then respond to the reader, sending via radio waves the data stored on it. Currently, depending on the size of the antenna and the frequency, passive tags can be read, at least theoretically, from up to thirty feet away. However, real-world environmental factors, such as wind and interference from substances like water or metal, can reduce the actual read range for passive tags to ten feet or less. Passive tags are already used for a wide array of applications, including building-access cards, mass transit tickets, and, increasingly, tracking consumer products through the supply chain. Depending on the sophistication of the chip, such as how much memory it has or its encryption capability, a passive tag currently costs between 20 cents and several dollars.
  2. Semi Passive Tags;- Semi-passive tags, like passive tags, do not initiate communication with readers, but they do have batteries. This onboard power is used to operate the circuitry on the chip, storing information such as ambient temperature. Semi-passive tags can be combined, for example, with sensors to create "smart dust" - tiny wireless sensors that can monitor environmental factors. A grocery chain might use smart dust to track energy use, or a vineyard to measure incremental weather changes that could critically affect grapes. Devices using smart dust, also known as "motes," currently cost about $100 each, but, in a few years, reportedly could drop to less than $10 apiece.
  3. Active Tags:- Active tags can initiate communication and typically have onboard power. They can communicate the longest distances - 100 or more feet. Currently, active tags typically cost $20 or more. A familiar application of active tags is for automatic toll payment systems, like the Northeast's "E-ZPass," that allow cars bearing active tags to use express lanes that don't require drivers to stop and pay.

3.4 Radio Frequency:-

Communication between RFID tags and readers is also affected by the radio frequency used, which determines the speed of communications as well as the distance from which tags can be read. Higher frequency typically means longer read range. Low-frequency ("LF") tags, which operate at less than 135 kilohertz (KHz), are thus appropriate for short-range uses, like animal identification and anti-theft systems, such as RFID-embedded automobile keys.Systems that operate at 13.56 megahertz (MHz) are characterized as high frequency ("HF"). Both low-frequency and high-frequency tags can be passive. Scanners can read multiple HF tags at once and at a faster rate than LF tags. A key use of HF tags is in contactless "smart cards," such as mass transit cards or building-access badges.

The third frequency, Ultra-High Frequency ("UHF"), is contemplated for widespread use by some major retailers, who are working with their suppliers to apply UHF tags to cases and pallets of goods. These tags, which operate at around 900 MHz, can be read at longer distances, which outside the laboratory environment range between three and possibly fifteen feet.However, UHF tags are more sensitive to environmental factors like water, which


Finally, another important feature of RFID tags is their "read/write" capacity, or "readonly" status. These terms refer to a tag's ability to have data added to it during its lifetime. The information stored on a "read-only" tag cannot be altered, but a writeable tag (with read/write capacity) can receive and store additional information. Read/write applications are most prevalent when tags are re-used.They are usually more sophisticated and costly than read-only applications. In addition, read/write applications have shorter read ranges. Read-only tags are well-suited to applications like item-level tagging of retail goods, since they are less expensive and, as part of a networked system, can provide a great deal of information by directing the reader to the associated database(s) where information about the tagged item is maintained



To the extent that the much-touted "RFID revolution" is underway, it is occurring somewhat out of public sight - in warehouses, distribution centers, and other stages of the supply chain.Workshop participants discussed how RFID's impact on the flow of goods through distribution channels has implications not just for manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers, but also for consumers.Many panelists reported that as a result of more efficient distribution practices generated by RFID use, consumers may find what they want on the store shelves, when they want it, and perhaps at lower price

Participants discussed how RFID may help prevent these lapses by improving visibility at multiple stages of the supply chain. RFID readers can gather information about the location of tagged goods as they make their way from the manufacturer, to a warehouse or series of distribution centers, and to the final destination, their store. Also, as one workshop participant explained, RFID enhances the accuracy of information currently obtained through bar code scanning, which is more vulnerable to human error.According to this panelist, access to more - and more accurate - information about where products are in the distribution chain enables retailers to keep what they need in stock and what they do not need off the shelf.

Workshop participants also touted the discipline that RFID imposes on the supply chain by, for example, reducing "shrinkage," or theft. One panelist explained how RFID may lower costs by keeping shipping volumes leaner and more accurate.Other panelists described how RFID tags can be read much faster than bar codes, citing tests indicatin g that RFID's scanning capability can result in goods moving through the supply chain ten times faster than they do when bar codes are used.According to another participant, RFID will facilitate quicker, more accurate recalls by enabling the tracking of a product's origin.


Workshop participants discussed a variety of ongoing and proposed government RFID applications, from the U.S. Department of Defense's ("DOD") October 2003 mandate requiring its suppliers to use RFID tags by January 2005 to local library systems deploying this technology to track and trace their books. DOD's initiative reportedly will affect 43,000 military suppliers. And, according to panelists, public libraries in California, Washington State, and elsewhere have implemented internal RFID systems to facilitate patron usage and manage stock.

One Workshop panellists, representing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), highlighted that agency's RFID initiative. Although the FDA itself is not using this technology, it recently announced an initiative to promote the use of RFID in the pharmaceutical supply chain by 2007.For now, drug manufacturers will primarily tag "stock bottles" - those used by pharmacists to fill individual prescriptions - but eventually consumers may be purchasing packages labelled with RFID chips. The core objective of this initiative is to fight drug counterfeiting by establishing a reliable pedigree for each pharmaceutical. The FDA believes that this goal can most effectively be accomplished by its target date through the adoption of RFID, which offers distinct advantages over other identification systems that require line-of-sight scanning and are not as accurate or fast.

Another government entity turning to RFID is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"). One program described by a DHS official at the Workshop uses RFID for tracking and tracing travelers' baggage.Both individual airports and airlines will use RFID technology to identify and track passenger luggage, from check-in to destination. Another DHS initiative addressed at the Workshop involves the agency's "US-VISIT" (U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) program. That initiative will test RFID at the country's fifty busiest border-crossing locations by using RFID to read biometric identifiers, such as digital photographs and fingerprint scans, embedded in U.S. work visas issued to foreign nationals. According to the DHS representative, this program is expected to facilitate some of the approximately 330 million border-crossings each year by getting the appropriate level of information to the right people at the right time. As this panelist noted as well,

U.S. passports will also soon carry an RFID chip embedded with identifying information, including biometric data.


There are number of RFID applications that consumers may already be using.

For example, some consumers are familiar with employee identification cards that authenticate the pass-holder before permitting access.A related use of RFID is for event access - to amusement parks, ski areas, and concerts, where tagged bracelets or tickets are used. Many automobile models already use RFID tags in keys to authenticate the user, adding another layer of security to starting a car.Another example, the "Speedpass," allows drivers to purchase gas and convenience store goods from ExxonMobil stations.RFID is also transforming highway travel.

The other uses of rfid are mobile payments, passports, human implants, animal identification, product tracking , parking tickets, museums.



Rapid charging/Discharging:-

The use of RFID reduces the amount of time required to perform circulation operations. The most significant time savings are attributable to the facts that information can be read from RFID tags much faster than from barcodes.

High Reliability:-

The readers are highly reliable. Several vendors of RFID library systems claim an almost 100 percent detection rate using RFID tags Fewer false alarms than with older technologies once an RFID system is properly tuned.

Security system has improved a lot compared to barcodes and electromagnetic.

High Speed Inventorying:-

A unique advantage of RFID systems is their ability to scan books on the shelves without tipping them out or removing them.

Wireless technology, it is possible not only to update the inventory, but also to identify items which are out of proper order.

Long Tag Life:-

Finally, RFID tags last longer than barcodes because nothing comes into contact with them.

Most RFID vendors claim a minimum of 100,000 transactions before a tag may need to be replaced.

5.2 Disadvantages Of RFID:-

  • high cost
  • vulnerability to compromise
  • exit sensor problems
  • perceived invasion of patron privacy


I have likened RFID to the barcode, which is an apt analogy. As an identifier, it is particularly suited to inventory functions, and a library has a strong inventory component. There is, however, a key difference to the library's inventory as compared to that of a warehouse or retail outlet. In the warehouse and retail supply chain, goods come in, and then they leave. Only occasionally do they return. The retail sector is looking at RFID as a "throw-away" technology that gets an item to a customer and then is discarded. Yet the per item cost of including an RFID tag is much more than the cost of printing a barcode on a package. In libraries, items are taken out and returned many times. This makes the library function an even better use of RFID than in retail because the same RFID tag is re-used many times.

Second only to circulation, libraries look to RFID as a security mechanism. The RFID tags can facilitate security in a variety of ways. In one method, the tag that is used has a special "security bit" that can be switched from "checked-in" to "checked-out." The exit gates at the library read each tag as the user passes out of the library and sounds an alarm if the bit is not in the "checked-out" state. The check-in function resets the bit. Another method is for the tags themselves to remain the same; as the user passes through the exit gate the system reads the tags in the books in the user's use RFID for security is not because it is especially good for it, but because it is no worse than other security technologies. There is, however, some potential savings because a single tag serves many different functions. The library saves some time in processing new items because it only has to affix one technology to the item. It may also save some money due to the integration of circulation and security with a single vendor and into a single system. Some future-positive thinkers in the library world see the potential to have a combined exit-gate/check-out station that allows patrons to walk about of the library with their books in hand and their library card in their pocket. That brings up other questions, especially privacy ones, but the notion is intriguing. Arms or bag and queries the library database to be sure that the items have been checked out.

Although RFID can be used in library anti-theft systems, this doesn't mean that it is a highly secure technology. What libraries don't tell their users, and none of us should probably say very loudly, is that RFID tags can be shielded by a thick layer of Mylar, a few sheets of aluminum foil, or even an aluminum gum wrapper, so they won't be detected by the reading device. In addition, today's tags are not hidden in the spine of the book, like security tape, but are often found on the inside of the book cover, barely concealed by a library label, and can be removed. This is not a condemnation of the technology nor even a reason not to use it in the library security system; the reality is that library security has never provided more than a modicum of security for library items. The gates and their alarms are as much social deterrent as they are actual prevention. The reason to

Should Libraries Use RFID?

Because of the privacy issues, some librarians and library users question whether libraries should consider using RFID at all. While we can ask this question today, we may be facing RFID in our future regardless, especially if RFID becomes the successor technology to barcodes. Should barcodes and barcode readers go the way of vinyl records and turntables, libraries needing new or replacement technology will have little choice but to purchase RFID-based systems. Because of this possibility, we cannot afford to ignore this new technology, even if we do not embrace it today.

In considering the introduction of any technology into the library we need to ask ourselves "why?" What is the motivation for libraries to embrace new technologies? The answer to this question may be fairly simple: libraries use new technologies because the conditions in the general environment that led to the development of the technology are also the conditions in which the library operates. In the case of RFID, anyone managing an inventory of physical objects needs to do item-level functions, such as sales or lending, more efficiently and with less human intervention.

RFID is a highly advantageous technology for a wide variety of inventory tracking situations. It is also coming into its own for payment systems, including the ever elusive "micro-payment," the holy grail of non-cash transactions. Whether or not libraries embrace RFID, it will probably continue to replace barcodes in the retail supply chain. And it will contribute to the general speeding up of our world, which affects libraries as well as other institutions. A key fact is that library circulation, the primary function where RFID can be used, is increasing while library budgets and purchasing power are losing ground.

Some Problems Remain

It seems clear, at this moment in time, that RFID will become a widespread technology, replacing barcoding for a variety of industries. It also is already leading to entirely new functionality, such as the "touchless" payment systems for debit cards and highway toll payments. But this is a very new technology and there are "gotchas" and limitations that we need to recognize. For libraries, RFID is very promising for items with a certain physical "substance," such as books and media in cases and boxes. But as we move to less sturdy items, RFID tags pose problems. Libraries must decide if they need to attach RFID tags to magazines, pamphlets, sheet music, and a host of other items that may not have a good location for a somewhat bulky two-inch square tag, and that are so numerous that the tag cost is significant. If it is determined that RFID will not work for these items, then an alternative check-out system needs to be maintained, which has real costs as well as a certain nuisance factor both for patrons and the library. It also may not be possible to accurately check out a stack of items that are particularly thin, such as journals or even children's books. The RFID tags on these materials can be so close together physically that the signals essentially cancel each other out


  • RFID tags replace both the EM security strips and Barcode.
  • Simplify patron self check-out / check-in.
  • Ability to handle material without exception for video and audio tapes.
  • Radio Frequency anti-theft detection is innovative and safe.
  • High-speed inventory and identify items which are out of proper order.
  • Long-term development guarantee when using Open Standard.

7. Academic Library

The recent past has changed academic libraries radically over the past 10 years. The conception of a digital library has become a reality, or at least partially so. The old realities of purpose and mission are jaded and tired. The old assurances of simple formulaic statements of purpose do not resonate in the present let alone the future. As the famous futurist Marshall McLuhan once said: "Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness." He also remarked: "Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today's job with yesterday's tools and yesterday's concepts". Both of these insights lead us to an understanding at least of the difficulties which we face today in libraries generally, and academic libraries in particular. To move forward is not to immediately abandon our previous assumptions of purpose and mission but to begin adopting new mindsets. To understand the path to our future is made more difficult as our concepts of the present are often not transportable into that future.

For the future library to survive and proper, the continuous alignment of its strategic direction with the demands of the environment is vital, especially when the speed of changes is rapid, and the scope, extensive. However, changes that are unpredictable and complex in nature can sometimes be too threatening. In the face of uncertainty, psychological attachment to, and the defense of what are bound to change can be dangerous. When library managers underestimate the impact of the emerging trends on their traditional roles and values, they are not positioning their library and themselves to capitalize on changes. On the other hand, if the threat of change is overestimated, yet one's ability's to shape the future is underestimated, one might still be locked into inaction in decision making. Coping patterns of "bolstering failing strategy, procrastination and buck-pas- sing" are identified as the typical signs of avoidance behaviors in responses to threatening change. As noted by Pierre Wack, inertia and failure to decide is often rooted in "the inability to see an emergent novel reality by being locked inside obsolete assumptions".

Scenario planning as a process is essentially about examining the range of options which constantly are with each of us and establishing stories about how those differing options could possibly come to pass. Each of us have choices to make each and every day about the way in which we travel to work, and about the way we travel home. We can change those choices whenever we will to meet changed circumstances; or just simply because we want to. Futurists such as Bruce Sterling offer perspectives on what might happen.

"Futurism is an art of re-perception. It means recognis- ing that life will change, must change, and has changed, and it suggests how and why. It shows that old perceptions have lost their validity, while new ones are possible". This evidences that we all have choices, even libraries. We can choose to do something for or to our libraries or we can choose to do nothing. But if we choose to do something there are always options. Sorting through these options will often reveal very clear choices which can be made if the organization is going to set it's target destination which all its energies are directed toward. We might call these scenarios. Scenarios are stories of what might happen.

8. RFID Based Library Management System

RFID technology is being implemented in a number of industries. Supply chain implementation is perhaps one of the most frequently mentioned applications of RFID tags and equipment. Retailers such as "Wal-Mart" and grocery stores such as "Albertson's" have begun to make it mandatory for their suppliers to tag merchandise destined for their stores. There is, however, a key difference to the library's inventory as compared to that of a warehouse or a retail outlet. In the warehouse and retail supply chain, goods come in and leave. Only occasionally are they returned. The retail sector is looking at RFID as a "throw- away" technology that hands an item to a customer which gets discarded. Yet the item wise unit cost of including an RFID tag is much more than the cost of printing a barcode on a package. In libraries, items are taken out and returned many times. Thus the same RFID tag is re-used many times. [1]

The libraries across the globe started to use RFID to speed up the self check in/out processes, to control the theft and to ease the inventory control in library. The barcode technology is slowly getting replaced by the RFID technology. The RFID tag does not have to be visible for detection. It can be read even when it is embedded in an item, such as in the cardboard cover of a book or in the packaging of a product. It can also store data such as stack number, accession number, book number, author information etc., but barcode is limited to just an identification number. The paper presents the study taken and corresponding experiments conducted for integrating RFID to existing LMS of CDAC.

The remaining sections of this paper are organized as follows: Section II describes about Library, the tasks involved in that, problems faced by librarians and RFID's role in automating some of the tasks of library, Section III describes about the technical specification of the hardware and tags used in project (RFID based LMS), Section IV describes about the modules developed in project, Section V describes about the experiments conducted to find out the proper tag position in book and Section VI describes about the benefits of the project.

The RFID based LMS facilitates the fast issuing, reissuing and returning of books with the help of RFID enabled modules. It directly provides the book information and library member information to the library management system and does not need the manual typing. It also provides monitoring and searching system. The monitoring module will continuously monitor the movement of books across the gates, so that the books taken out without prior issuing will be traced out easily and will alarm the librarians. The searching module provides the fast searching of books using RFID handheld reader. The physical location of the books can be easily located using this module.

Utmost care has been taken to provide following features to the Library using RFID


  • To remove manual book keeping of records
  • Traceability of books and library members as they move
  • The Improved utilization of resources like manpower, infrastructure etc.
  • Less time consumption as line of sight and manual interaction are not needed for

RFID tag reading.

  • To provide 2 meters read range antennas
  • To minimize the manual intervention
  • To minimize the manual errors
  • To provide the long lasting labels
  • To provide fast searching of books

The interaction of transaction module is given in (fig. 3).The RFID interface is provided in the transaction forms like issue, reissue, return and fine status forms. The Manual intervention is minimized as the automatic identification of books and library members will be achieved because of RFID. The books and employee ID cards should be placed near the antenna. The tags will be scanned by the reader and the book id and the employee id will be transmitted to the s/w module running in the librarian's PC and which in turn will store the transaction information in database with timestamp.

The Monitoring System will be installed at the gates of the library to monitor the incoming/outgoing bags continuously. The System will communicate with the Mercury 4 RFID reader through socket using RQL. The reader scans the RFID tags attached with the books and library member cards and will send the tag IDs to the monitoring system which in turn will save that information in database with timestamp. The system differentiates the book IDs and library member IDs by checking the format of the ID value. There is an instant display system which will continuously display the movement of incoming/outgoing books/library-members. The System alarms the librarians whenever there is a movement at the gates without prior issue



RFID in the library speeds up book borrowing, monitoring, books searching processes and thus frees staff to do more user-service tasks. But the performance varies with respect to the vendors of RFID readers and tags. The efficient utilization of the technology also depends upon the information to be written in tag. Experimental results with respect to effectiveness of RFID reader position, tag position are presented in the paper. Developments in RFID technology continue to yield larger memory capacities, wider reading ranges, and faster processing.