The Richardson Public Library has completed installation of its new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system that involves tagging more than 250,000 books, pamphlets, CDs, DVDs and other items with RFID sensors.
Funded through the 2010 Bond Program, and working in conjunction with a new materials handling system that the library purchased late last year, the RFID system will use RFID tags to identify and check out items and then check in and sort them as they are returned.
“The goal for the system is to increase the library’s capacity to check materials in and out, resulting in a better user experience,” said Steve Benson Director of Library Services. “RFID technology allows for faster identification of items being checked out, eliminating the need to manually scan each item. The materials handling and sorting system will automate and speed the check-in of most library items, eliminating common backlogs.”
The new system includes two self-service check-out kiosks and four staffed check-out stations that can also function as self-service stations to help reduce lines and wait times. Library visitors will also be able to check out books, DVDs, audio books and CDs at these kiosks.
According to Benson, the library does not have a goal of making all check-outs self-service because some guests prefer interacting with library staff. The library will continue to have staff at the check-out desk, but patrons will have the option of choosing self-service and there will be more check-out stations available.
The library’s RFID tagging process began in September, and installation of the system was completed yesterday afternoon. Richardson Public Library regular Norma Shosid was the first library patron to use the program after it was opened to the public around 1 p.m. (photo attached).
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