Li­brary up­grade with RFID

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

City Li­brary is about to be­come ‘‘ra­dio-ac­tive’’. Its new Ra­dio Fre­quency Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (RFID) tech­nol­ogy is in­stalled, tested and ready for the of­fi­cial launch this Thurs­day.

Pro­vided by Aus­tralian com­pany Bi­b­lio­theca, RFID is a proven, user-friendly, in­tu­itive sys­tem that is in use through­out Aus­tralia, in the US, the UK and Europe.

The li­brary’s Shan­non Simp­son says the pre­vi­ous tech­nol­ogy was 20 years old and had reached the end of its life.

‘‘The new sys­tem is much faster, more in­no­va­tive and more ef­fi­cient. It will al­low our staff to spend more time with our public.

‘‘Li­braries are so much more than books. We help teach peo­ple dig­i­tal skills and tips for de­vices. We help peo­ple cre­ate their own con­tent, show how to ac­cess e-books and online data­bases, and pro­vide tra­di­tional ref­er­ence and re­search ser­vices .’’

The cen­tral li­brary and branches re­mained open, with all ser­vices avail­able dur­ing the in­stal­la­tion of the sys­tem last week. It went live on Fri­day.

Liv­ing Room of the City man­ager Linda Moore says among its ad­van­tages, RFID in­cludes a new re­turns and sort­ing sys­tem that will re­duce staff han­dling of re­turned items by 80 per cent, mean­ing re­turned books and DVDs are back on the shelves faster.

The sys­tem also au­to­mat­i­cally up­dates li­brary mem­bers’ ac­counts, with bor­row­ers able to pay fines and un­lock DVDs them­selves, sav­ing queues at the counter.

The li­brary’s ‘‘Love your Li­brary Card’’ cam­paign has been aimed at en­cour­ag­ing ev­ery­one to bring their card with them so they can use the new sys­tem.

‘‘If you have lost your card, please ask staff for a re­place­ment , which is free of charge, at present. Those with smart phones can take a pho­to­graph of their card or down­load an app to store their card.’’

Li­brary staff will be help­ing bor­row­ers un­der­stand how to use the self-ser­vice sys­tem, and any groups who would ben­e­fit from a tu­to­rial can ring 356 8199 to ar­range a time.

The of­fi­cial launch is on Thurs­day, July 2, at 4pm at the Cen­tral Li­brary.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/ FAIR­FAX NZ

The Joliffe fam­ily Tara, Max (11), Abby (9) and Emily (4) from Palmer­ston North get a first-hand in­tro­duc­tion to City Li­brary’s new Ra­dio Fre­quency Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, which is of­fi­cially launched this week.

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