Tuesday, 23 June 2015

RFID Project update

PLS has been working on our RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) project for months & are now ready to move from the planning stage in our office to the implementation stage of the project in libraries.

The aim of this project is to complete the tagging of the State's 4M items.  At this stage half (2M) of the items are already tagged, so we're aiming to get the other half tagged between now and the end of 2017 at the latest.

The Libraries Board has provided $390,000 from its own fund towards the cost of the RFID tags and some ancillary project costs.

The Board has entered into a contract with Bibliotheca for the supply of tags and "pads" used to read & write to the tags.  However libraries will be free to purchase other tags and equipment from other suppliers, so long as they conform to our "RFID Interoperability Specification" (password required).

James Kemperman is managing the project & will be in contact with libraries in coming weeks to negotiate each library's place in the queue.  The queue relates to the provision of loan equipment provided by Bibliotheca to allow libraries to speed up their tagging process.  Libraries with collections of more than 15,500 items have been scheduled in the project plan to use this equipment.  Depending on availability, other libraries who would like to borrow extra equipment can do so as well, in the latter part of 2017.

All libraries will be provided with an "encoding pad" and an initial allocation of tags through August/September this year.  Staff from PLS will be available to support library staff through the installation of the equipment.  The equipment will come with a USB stick which will have software which needs to be installed on your PC.  It will also include training notes and videos to support your local project. We will also be providing some more FAQ answers to accompany the delivery of the equipment, and there will be some regional hub meetings where project support will be provided.

As per previous notifications your library will need to pay for this pad, as you will need to use it to add tags to all new items as they arrive. This pad and accompanying equipment will allow libraries to start tagging their collections as soon as they feel comfortable to do so.

Some libraries will choose to use a project "blitz" approach of doing their collections in a short period of time.  This is the most efficient way of working, and it will be required for those libraries which will have the Bibliotheca tagging stations for a set period of time.

However for our smaller libraries they may choose to do their collections at a more steady pace.  They can do this by choosing to just put tags in the items which are being shipped to other libraries.

In fact perhaps the most important message about the project is that from 2 November this year there is an expectation of all libraries that every item which enters a TOLL black box to transit to other libraries will need to have an encoded tag in it.  This will ensure that for those libraries already using RFID, they should be able to have a single workflow for the circulation of their items from that day forward.

PLS staff will be more than happy to support staff through their initial learning phase, however this is a very simple process which is nowhere near as complex as changing over to One Card. 

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