1. Why should I consider RFID for my library? What are the advantages of RFID over EM/Tattle Tape technology?
RFID technology not only provides security for the library resources but also eliminates manual work including issue and return, searching, stock taking, etc. With the help of RFID you can issue more than four books at a time which is not possible in EM/Tattle tape system. EM/Tattle tape facilitates only security process and cannot be used for issue/return (Circulation Process). In RFID technology both issue/return and activation/deactivation of security bit is done in a single act whereas in EM issue/return process is done in ILS and arming/disarming process is done on EM hardware, which is not only cumbersome but also hazardous, especially during peak hours.
2. What is the life of RFID Tags?
Data retention – for 50 years data programmed on the RFID tag can be retained.
IC Write endurance – a book with RFID tags can be issue/returned 100,000 times.
3. I understand that there are two frequencies- HF and UHF. Which one is better for my Library?
HF (High Frequency-13.56 MHz) is the defacto standard for RFID implementation in Libraries. UHF (Ultra High Frequency – 800-900MHz) is mainly used for warehouse management as it has longer read range. The use of UHF in libraries creates issues during self-checkout and return via drop box and also while using handheld readers for inventory and shelf-management purposes as it will pick-up unwanted data because of the long read range.
4. If we can invest in only basic RFID components (Tags, security gate, programming station, inventory system) but need additional RFID hardware in the future, what should we do?
As long as SIP2/NCIP protocol is enabled in your system and is not limited based on your collection size, you can expand the RFID system to any level and upgrade to self-checkout kiosk, return system, smart racks, smart lockers, etc.
5. What is SIP2/NCIP protocol and do I have to pay for the server?
SIP2 and NCIP are industry standard protocols that enable communication between RFID hardware and the Library software application. Some vendors charge additionally for this module. If you are using KOHA open source library management software, SIP2 is freely available and is not limited by your collection size.
6. I don’t know whether my library management software supports SIP2 or NCIP? Can’t I have RFID implementation?
Ask your library software vendor who has installed/provided the library management software. SIP2/NCIP both can be used for the integration of RFID. It is always recommended that SIP2/NCIP protocol is available in your library software. SIP2/NCIP standard is open and it has nothing to do with your collection size. Beware of vendors who quote a substantial amount for SIP2/NCIP or charge based on the collection size of the library.
7. What are the RFID Standards I need to be aware of and what are the benefits of these standards?
8. Is Bibliotheca RFID hardware future-proof?
Bibliotheca has incorporated many of the latest technologies like NFC (near field communication), email/SMS integration and cloud based hardware monitoring system.
Bibliotheca regularly updates its middleware to ensure compatibility with upgraded Operating Systems and other software.
Bibliotheca has modular self-checkout system which can be upgraded from a stand-alone self-checkout system to drop box to hard cash collection system to e-payment gateway system to NFC system (smart phone based transaction).