Radio Frequency IDentification • RFID solutions may differ in terms of, – Tags – Frequencies – DataLibrary RFID – Levels of interoperability and integration
Tags • All shapes and sizes • Different frequencies and formats • ...even chipless *Library RFID * http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/chipless-tracker-to-transform-libraries/story-e6frgakx-1226106169778
Library RFID Frequencies Source: US Defense Acquisition University, VA
Most Commonly Used Library Frequencies UHF HF Typical range Up to 5 metres Up to 1 metre Cost Less expensive More expensiveLibrary RFID Typical Capacity 512bits 1kb Data standard No Yes compliant?
A key component – the data! • A “Data Model” defines both the content and location of data on tags • Many are supplier defined (proprietary) • Some countries defined a national data model (e.g. Denmark)Library RFID • ISO have recently published a three part international data model
Interoperability • Reading another vendor’s tags has often proved problematic, sometimes impossible • A common data model will allow different suppliers to read and write to the same tags • UK, Canada and Australia promoting solutions based on ISO 28560-2. NISO recommends the sameLibrary RFID for USA. • Limited interoperability is available at the security level1 1 NISO include a very useful section on levels of interoperability in security for ILL at http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php?document_id=6508
Integration • Most RFID solutions link to a library management system (ILS1) • Linking may be via an industry protocol (SIP2) or be proprietary (e.g. API, Web Service) • The level of RFID functionality on offer is often determined by the degree ofLibrary RFID integration with the ILS 1 Integrated Library System – also known as Library Management System (LMS) 2 Standard Interchange Protocol – developed and owned by 3M®
CASE STUDY –Library RFID THE UK LIBRARY MARKET
Very rapid growth... Libraries using RFID 180 160 140 120 100 80 60Library RFID 40 20 0 2008 2009 2010 Data from the annual RFID survey of UK libraries
…but very limited choice • 97.8% of UK RFID installations buy their entire RFID solution from a single supplier* • There is (almost) no competition once an RFID supplier is chosen • New products are available – but being proprietary –cannot be used everywhereLibrary RFID • Most RFID companies are committed to change this scenario – but most librarians aren’t. *Source: Annual RFID survey - run by the author
A Mature Market? • Growth fuelled by political pressure rather than innovation or stability – RFID=Self Service=reduced staff costs • Decline in IT skills – particularly in public sector – results in little understanding ofLibrary RFID possible impact on existing systems • Research often reveals mixed messages...
A Manufacturer’s View “RFID Puts Librarians Where Theyre Needed Most” • 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 dont have to replace a book’s digital identification tag when updatingLibrary RFID a books 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. http://www.ti.com/rfid/shtml/apps-asset-tracking-library.shtml
A Librarian’s View “Currently I would see the main advantage of (using) a data model being when/if we change supplier for our tags or equipment. One of my concerns would be what happens to the 800,000 books we have tagged using a propriety data model!”Library RFID (email from an unnamed University Librarian – May 2011)
The (UK) RFID Supplier’s View “RFID Alliance to Unlock Library Potential”* • The benefits …could be instrumental to the wider public use of library facilities ... • Importantly for existing customers of the Alliance suppliers, each has committed to supporting their historical customer base with the move to the new standard as and when it should be required.Library RFID • With the Alliance agreement in place, and with ISO/DIS 28560-2 setting the standard for all future tags, the next logical step is for libraries to act on this to further improve their services. *Joint statement issued in October 2009
Working together… • RFID interest group founded in 2007 • Jointly sponsored by CILIP1 and BIC2 (managed by BIC) • Membership includes all ILS and RFID suppliers plus librarians, media and book suppliers • Publishes best practice and procurementLibrary RFID guidelines • Promotes standards adoption 1Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals 2Book Industry Communication
…to achieve better outcomes • Two major objectives: – Standardise • Common Data Model (Interoperability) • Common Communication Framework (Integration) – Improve procurement practiceLibrary RFID
A Common Data Model • Agreed on adoption of ISO 28560-2 • Developed a UK libraries profile (the UK Data Model - or UKDM) • All UK libraries are urged to make support for the UKDM a mandatory requirementLibrary RFID • All major UK RFID companies have pledged to support this standard
A Common Communication Framework • Most UK RFID suppliers worked with BIC to produce a new communication framework – published in July 2011 • Two ILS suppliers have also participated in the programmeLibrary RFID • In the meantime 3M have announced the development of SIP 3.0 • NISO continue to develop NCIP
Improving Procurement Practice • Publishes procurement guidelines1 • Urges buyers to review existing purchasing agreements that may limit choice and increase costs • The UK goal: Buy what you want – fromLibrary RFID whom you wish! 1 http://www.bic.org.uk/e4libraries/
A Vicious Circle? • Librarians feel they want more from RFID – but are not sure how to get it • RFID companies want to offer more – but often need ILS help to develop • Lack of common RFID standards may discourage ILS providers from developingLibrary RFID new functionality • Librarians failed to demand standards
There are many misconceptions… • It threatens privacy • It threatens jobs • It’s too complex • It’s very simple - a “Barcode on Steroids”Library RFID
…and there’s STILL an elephant in the room • 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 technologyLibrary RFID which means that if company A puts an RFID tag on a product, it cant 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, IFLAs Information Technology section
The market is changing... • There are two ways to create a more homogeneous market: – Let one supplier own it all – Adopt standards to allow free competition • Mergers and partnership deals continueLibrary RFID apace, so option one is approaching... • But in a free market standards make sense for corporations too - easier development, more opportunity, lower cost.
…libraries must change too • RFID creates intelligent stock – using it only for self-service fails to realise its full potential • Budgets are tight and services are under threat so achieving full ROI is vitalLibrary RFID • Consider automating accessions and returns, using mobile devices to manage stock, explore the possibilities of using smart shelves, interactive displays, etc.
A Simple Manifesto for IFLA? • Encourage use of common standards – especially for data. – “A common solution is … important to avoid libraries becoming dependent upon specific vendors.” – Leif Andresen writing in IFLA’s IT newsletter – July 2011 • Improve communications between ILS and RFIDLibrary RFID vendors (data and discussion) • Monitor and evaluate new developments to provide “best practice” guidance.
Mick Fortune Library RFID Ltd. t. +44 7786 625544 e. email@example.com w. www.libraryrfid.co.uk b. www.mickfortune.com/Wordpress Thank You!Library RFID