RFID @ Glasgow: an early adopter's perspective


Published on

An overview of how the implementation of RFID 6 years ago has affected the library service delivery of the University of Glasgow. Includes: challenges and solutions; staff and student feedback; and statistics. Presented by Neil Carey at the SLIC/JISC RSCs in Scotland RFID event, held in Glasgow on 17 Sept 2008.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

RFID @ Glasgow: an early adopter's perspective

  1. 1. RFID @ Glasgow An early-adopter’s perspective
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Interest in RFID began in 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Deal with 3M to showcase RFID at IFLA </li></ul><ul><li>Local pilot site – big and busy enough to fully investigate the new technology </li></ul><ul><li>Team of IT staff on site </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Decision was made to target 80K item short-loan collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self contained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4% of stock / around 50% of transactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve access to some material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Completely self-service </li></ul><ul><li>Improved stock maintenance </li></ul>
  4. 4. Challenges and Solutions <ul><li>April / May 2006 – 2 external agency staff worked for 6 weeks to tag stock </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate – 250 books per hour </li></ul><ul><li>Actual – 310 books per hour </li></ul><ul><li>We now RFID tag all short loan stock ourselves, and can see how easy it is </li></ul><ul><li>The installation of all 3M equipment went according to schedule </li></ul>
  5. 5. Challenges and Solutions <ul><li>First major snag – our idiosyncratic classification system </li></ul><ul><li>Library system is unable to produce a shelfmark order index </li></ul><ul><li>3M found an IT consultant to work on the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Produced a translation program </li></ul>
  6. 6. From Theory to Service Delivery <ul><li>New fully open-access collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core of 78,000 books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to 82,000 in response to demand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loan periods of 1 week, 24h, and 4h </li></ul><ul><li>Security gates – magnetic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Belt and braces approach! </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. From Theory to Service Delivery <ul><li>2 self-issue units enough? </li></ul><ul><li>Another on standby – not needed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users rarely waited longer than 20 seconds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appointed a ‘problem solver’ </li></ul><ul><li>Main complaint was loss of booking system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Not an RFID issue) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emphasis moved to additional copies or digitised material </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Result – Error Checking <ul><li>DLA started to uncover catalogue errors straight away </li></ul><ul><li>As in-depth as an old-fashioned stock inspection! </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring revealed an 11% error rate </li></ul><ul><li>Now use DLA to check for a range of errors at once </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Result – Self Issue <ul><li>Assistance was offered at start of term </li></ul><ul><li>Loans increased 20% to 378,000 </li></ul><ul><li>91% of first time issues were self-service transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Between new RFID self-issue and existing barcode self-issue, 75% of loans were completely self-service </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Result – Self Issue <ul><li>Queue time at self-issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>November: median of 8 seconds, average of 19 seconds, 93% queued less than 1 minute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>April: median of 0 seconds, average of 4 seconds, 100% served within 1 minute </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reshelving time lapse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>November: only 32% reshelved within first hour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>April: 90% reshelved within the hour, 38% within the half hour </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Result – Book Issues <ul><li>First year – 20% rise in SLC issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>14% rise in 1 week items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>819% rise in 24 hour items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>17% decrease in 4 hour items </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Longer loan periods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More available = more popular </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on additional copies rather than shorter loan periods </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Staff Feedback <ul><li>DLA makes shelf checking more bearable! </li></ul><ul><li>Increased accuracy is “very satisfying” </li></ul><ul><li>DLA is light, easy to use, reduces physical activity </li></ul><ul><li>Staff will now spend longer shelf-checking </li></ul><ul><li>Improved customer relations </li></ul><ul><li>But… </li></ul><ul><li>DLA can miss small items </li></ul>
  13. 13. Student Feedback <ul><li>Loss of booking facility (not RFID’s fault!) </li></ul><ul><li>LibQUAL survey positives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not having to queue for 4 hour loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longer access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faster service at peak times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Browsing can reveal longer loan periods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System very easy to use </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Where are we now? <ul><li>3.5% drop in overall transactions in last year – still 1.5M transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Percentage of loans from SLC still around 50% of total </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07 – 91% self issue in SLC </li></ul><ul><li>2007/08 – up slightly to 93% </li></ul><ul><li>Total self-service checkouts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>70% in 06/07 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>74% in 07/08 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75% in 02/03?! </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Where are we now? <ul><li>Introduction of self-return </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07 – 81% self-return </li></ul><ul><li>2007/08 – 83% self-return </li></ul><ul><li>Equates to around 42% overall returns </li></ul><ul><li>Frees up a lot of staff time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More off-desk tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moves to background depts </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Any questions… <ul><li>Feel free to get in touch </li></ul><ul><li>Tours? </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Neil Carey: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>