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The lack of data standards was recognised as a problem as early as 2003 in both the USA –
“ If the possibility exists that more than one vendor’s RFID system will be used, RFID interoperability standards must be developed and adhered to.” http://www.lincolntrail.info/RFIDInConsortialEnvironment.html
and in Germany,
“ All existing RFID systems use proprietary technology which means that if company A puts an RFID tag on a product, it can't be read by Company B unless they both use the same RFID system from the same vendor."
[RFID Journal 2003]. Quoted by Mats G. Lindquist at IFLA Berlin, Chair, IFLA's Information Technology section
RFID technology is simple, robust and inexpensive. Each RFID label has a unique identification number and can be programmed with additional information such as type of media and storage location .
The tag is "re-writeable" so libraries don't have to replace a book’s digital identification tag when updating a book's status or flagging a book for reservation. In addition, libraries are finding new ways to take advantage of tagged items, such as gathering statistics on what items are most often used .
“ Currently I would see the main advantage of a data model as when/if we change supplier for our tags/equipment. One of my concerns would be what happens to the 800,000 books we have tagged using a propriety data model.”
(email from an unnamed University Librarian – May 2011)
RFID creates intelligent stock – using it only for self-service fails to deliver full ROI.
Consider automating accessions and returns, use wearable devices to manage stock, explore the possibilities of smart shelves and displays, interactive books – all now being deployed – but unavailable to most.