Chipping in - reflections and predictions for library RFID - Cilips

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Nov 27, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Chipping in


Reflections on and
Predictions for Library RFID.

Mick Fortune

Library RFID Limited

Today I shall mostly be talking about…


The story so far


RFID
-

a missed opportunity for libraries?


Where do we go from here?

…but first

Library 24


Verona

Automated Receiving


Maastricht

RFID enabled
smartphone, USA

Book sorter


Lyngby,

Smart Shelves,
Singapore

Future, or Futurama?

RFID enabled
IPhone

Available from
Amazon

+

=

THE STORY SO FAR

How did it all begin?


Self service has two main requirements


rapid circulation and security


Library RFID has two key attributes


multiple
transaction handling and onboard security


So
-

a match made in heaven?

Rapid Growth

Based on data from the annual RFID survey on LIB
-
RFID


Surveys show that librarians mostly seek
advice from… other librarians.


This may have created a “me too” effect that
has driven our record investment in RFID


BUT the obvious and immediate benefits of
self service may have obscured the underlying
problem of interoperability.

What inspired such growth?

A Happy Coincidence or…


How libraries first encountered RFID has
tended to shape their thinking about what it
can do.


What suppliers sold before RFID has tended to
influence the type of solutions they offer.




A Series of
Unfortunate Events?

Development has been slow


Librarians feel they want more from RFID


but are not sure how to get it.


RFID companies want to offer more


but
often need LMS help to develop.


Lack of common RFID standards discourages
LMS from developing functionality


IT skills often absent from libraries.





(Dis)integrating Solutions


RFID suppliers have tended to develop their
solutions in isolation.


LMS “integration” is mostly limited to using an
outdated serial protocol (SIP).


Self service was relatively easy and effective
-
but has been delivered by sacrificing
interoperability.


A Google search will find dozens of ideas for
using RFID in the library


almost all unique.


There are many misconceptions…


It threatens jobs


It’s too complex


It’s very simple


Just a smart label
-

a
“Barcode on Steroids”


It threatens privacy

…and an (un)comfortable assumption?


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

A MISSED OPPORTUNITY?

Have we aimed too low?


Concentration on self
-
service has limited our
ambition.


Pace of UK adoption has been frenetic, but
development has been slow.


Suppliers too busy with self
-
service


Little engagement from LMS


Global market now developing using
standards
-

and may rapidly overtake UK

Hobson’s Choice


97.8% of RFID installations buy their entire
RFID solution from a single supplier.


There is (almost) no competition once an RFID
supplier is chosen.


Many new products now available


but all
proprietary.


Most RFID companies are committed to
change this


but most librarians aren’t

What is to be done?


Change the way it works


Common Data Standard


Common Communication Framework


Change the way you buy

A Common Data Standard


Currently every RFID supplier uses their own.


New installations are insisting on ISO 28560
-
2
and the UK Data Model



Five

Four UK RFID companies have pledged to
support the new standard.



Four

Three of them claim “interoperability”
will be available for new installations.


Only one has produced
fully

compliant tags.

A Common Communication
Framework



Four

Three RFID companies are working with
BIC to develop a new communication
framework.


Only a few LMS suppliers have shown any
interest in the work.


3M have announced the development of SIP
3.0


NCIP still considering a separate protocol for
self
-
service.

Change the way you buy


Procurement needn’t be a major undertaking


Frameworks mitigate against change and
increase costs.


Best practice and procurement guidelines are
available.


Buy what you want


from whom you wish!

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The Chip Manufacturer’s View

“RFID Puts Librarians Where They're 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 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
.


http://www.ti.com/rfid/shtml/apps
-
asset
-
tracking
-
library.shtml



The 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.


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 by 2CQR, 3M, Bibliotheca, D Tech, Intellident and Plescon
-

2009

The Librarian’s View?

“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)

The Market is Changing


Mergers and partnership deals continue apace


3M and Lyngsoe (US)
August 2010


Bibliotheca and ITG (USA)
April 2011


Bibliotheca and Intellident (UK)
June 2011


Consolidation of data models now makes
sense for corporations too


More open market = greater competition

…and so should the service


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.


A Simple Manifesto for RFID?


Standardise on a single data model (UKDM)


Support the work being done to improve communication
between LMS/RFID


So that,


All suppliers can read each other’s tags


Competition increase


Costs are reduced


Purchasing becomes more straightforward


Innovation is encouraged


Service is improved

Thank You!

Mick Fortune

Library RFID Ltd.

t. +44 1865 727411

m. +44 7786 625544

e.
mick@
libraryrfid.co.uk

w.
www.libraryrfid.co.uk

b.
www.mickfortune.com/Wordpress