"A Barcode on Steroids:" RFID Technology and the EPL ...

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"A Barcode on Steroids:" RFID Technology and the EPL ...

  1. 1. “A barcode on steroids”: RFID and the EPL experience (so far) Adrienne Brown Canty Edmonton Public Library Netspeed 2006 ~ October 19, 2006
  2. 2. RF? • NOT: – Really Frightful! – Relatively Freaky! – Remarkably Fearsome!
  3. 3. The Alfie slide (what’s it all about?) • Information storage/retrieval • Microchip and antenna • Data: identifier, security • Read by passing through RF field – Wireless – Contact-free – Orientation-independent
  4. 4. Origins • Surprisingly early • Warehouses • Harsh environments • Retail – EPC/UPC
  5. 5. Basic RFID components • Label – Microchip – Antenna • Transponder
  6. 6. Perspective • Tag: a barcode equivalent • Transponder: just another input device
  7. 7. How it works • Chip data • 13.56 MHz • ISO 15693, 18000 • Passive • Proximity
  8. 8. Everyday RFID • Pet microchips • Gas station “speed passes” • Building entry systems • Automobile entry/ignition • Toll roads/bridges • Mass sports events • Public transit
  9. 9. Chip data (libraries) • Unique identifier • Security bit • Space for rent?
  10. 10. Security • Off at checkout, on at checkin • Goodbye, deer in the headlights? • Goodbye, false alarms? • Goodbye, locking cases?
  11. 11. Known issues • Metal content • Data content
  12. 12. Controversy • Eavesdropping • Identifying information • Personal documents • Viruses/malware • “Spychips”
  13. 13. Why RFID at EPL? • Growth – Increased city population – Increased library visits – Increased library circulation • Public demand for value-added services • Work smarter • Increase staff visibility • Automate what can be automated
  14. 14. Components selected • Tags • Transponders • Security gates • Handheld units • Self-check stations • Automated check-in • Automated sorting
  15. 15. Project goals •  self-service options •  customer independence •  customer privacy •  F2F time with customers •  value-added services •  speed to locate items (inventory) • Immediate check-in
  16. 16. Project goals, cont’d. •  check-in errors •  lineups & time spent in them –  staff-handled transactions –  time per transaction •  invisible staff, invisible tasks •  physical handling of items •  staff soft-tissue injuries
  17. 17. Ground rules • No “unstaffed circulation desk” • No pink slips • Jobs may change
  18. 18. EPL process • Organizational support • Investigation team • Funding • Business case • RFP • Vendor selection • Implementation
  19. 19. Business case • Background • Project Description • Strategic alignment • Environment analysis • Alternatives • Business & operational impacts • Project risk assessment • Cost/benefit analysis • Conclusions & recommendations • Implementation strategy • Review & approval process
  20. 20. Request for Proposal • General description of project • Background information • Mandatory 2-day site visit • Evaluation criteria • Specifications
  21. 21. Specification categories • General • Errors • Server and hardware • QA & system acceptance • Security gates • Training • Staff PC workstations • Support & documentation • Conversion stations • Warranty (tagging) • Upgrades / expansion / • Self-check stations development • Self check-in stations with • Equipment/supplies sorter • Timelines • Handheld unit • Other • RFID tags
  22. 22. Weighted evaluation criteria Value % Criterion 10 7 Firm or individual’s qualifications 10 7 Relevant experience and references 10 7 Comprehensiveness of response 25 17 Response to requirements 20 13 Total cost of ownership (TCO) over 5-year period 20 13 Project schedule 20 13 Impact on Library operations 15 10 Training 15 10 Support/warranty 5 3 Value-add & other relevant information 150 100 Total
  23. 23. Proof-of-concept testing • Software for components • 20 book tags • 20 CD/DVD tags • 10 videocassette tags • 20 tag boosters (if required) • 1 conversion station • 1 transponder for staff workstation • 1 set of two security gates • 1 inventory wand
  24. 24. Implementation • “Rolling stages” • Branch-by-branch – Tags – Security gates – Admin stations – Self-check stations – Automated return/sorting
  25. 25. Managing the project • Project Sponsor • Representative Project Owner • IT Project Coordinator • Rotating team membership • Tagging Supervisor
  26. 26. So far… • Tagging began September 25 at STR • 53,000+ items completed in 14 working days • Holds, returns from other service points • Tagging currently underway at LON
  27. 27. “Unexpected hedges” • Dust jackets • Videocassettes • Multi-disc sets • Metallic covers • Metallic hub tags
  28. 28. Getting the word out • Mascot: the Macintosh model • Staff meeting visits – RFID in Libraries DVD (2004) • Regular newsletter column • “Nobody knows you’re a dog” • Reports to Technology Council • E-mail updates
  29. 29. The shoulders of giants • Radio Frequency Identification and the San Francisco Public Library http://www.sfpl.org/librarylocations/libtechcomm/RFID-and-SFPL- summary-report-oct2005.pdf • Ontario IPC: Guidelines for using RFID tags in Ontario Public Libraries http://www.ipc.on.ca/docs/rfid-lib.pdf • ALA – Tech Note on RFID (updated 02/2006) http://www.ala.org/ala/pla/plapubs/technotes/RFIDtechnoteupdate.doc – “RFID Technology for Libraries.” Library Technology Reports, v.39, n.6 (Nov/Dec 2003). • RFID in Libraries DVD – Library Video Network (2004) http://www.lvn.org/p-71-rfid-in-libraries.aspx
  30. 30. Staying up to speed • RFID Journal • c|Net automatic news search • Google Alert • RFID for Libraries listserv (RFID_LIB)
  31. 31. Cue the patriotic music…
  32. 32. Questions?
  33. 33. Adrienne Brown Canty Manager, Strathcona Branch Library 8331 – 104 Street NW Edmonton, AB T6E 4E9 Voice: (780) 496-3953 Fax: (780) 496-1451 acanty@epl.ca

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