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News

RFID tagging leads to improved security and productivity in libraries

Intrepid Security : 11 November, 2008  (Application Story)
2008 has seen a large increase in installations by Intrepid for libraries requiring tagging solutions for improving security with added productivity benefits
RFID tagging leads to improved security and productivity in libraries
Intrepid Security report a significant increase in recent months for 'tagging' based security solutions from both the public and private library market sectors.

Neil Jackson who heads up Intrepid Security's dedicated library division said: "Our sales to libraries have consistently risen year on year but we have seen a particularly sharp increase in business during 2008." Neil does not credit any single reason for the boost to sales although he feels that advances in technology have resulted in anti-theft systems adding value beyond just acting as a deterrent to would be thieves. "The introduction of self-issue machines equipped with RFID technology, for example, offers the potential to make good use of the time available to library personnel."

Neil cites Croydon College as a good example of where the latest technology has made "tagging" a cost effective option. Here, Intrepid Security has installed three Scout hybrid EM/RFID book self-issue units. These form part of the security for the library's books and other media whilst speeding up the checkout process by negating the need to involve the library staff. Students and staff interact with the Scout units and Patron via an intuitive touch screen 15'' display monitor which provides animated instructions.

Thomas Butler, Library Operations Manager at Croydon College said: "The introduction of the Scout units has greatly increased the efficiency of our library, whilst at the same time giving us peace of mind that our stock is being protected from theft."

At Johnson Central Library in Cavan, Ireland, Intrepid Security has installed dual aisle Pent or 3030PL EM (Electro Magnetic) antenna at the library's exit. Constructed in clear Plexiglass and with integrated people counters, the antenna are designed to be aesthetically pleasing whilst deterring and detecting theft. EM security labels, which are discretely located on the library's books, CDs and DVDs, can quickly and easily be deactivated and re-activated by library staff using one of two LCS Pro library circulation units located at the issue desk.

King's Fund library is another Intrepid Security customer that has opted to go for an RFID based system. The King's Fund, an independent charitable foundation, runs the only free, publicly accessible specialist reference library in the country. It offers a comprehensive service to all those involved in health and social care resources. The library, located in London's Cavendish Square, has been equipped with a long range RFID security antenna at each of the two exits, whilst 30,000 RFID paper security labels have been applied to the library's books.

A hand held RFID reader allows library personnel to quickly scan and 'read' item numbers on shelves without the need to physically handle each item. This provides faster inventory processing whilst assisting in the location of specific items as well as identifying misplaced books and journals.

Commenting on the project, Ray Phillips of the King's Fund Information and Library Service said: "The library was moved to a refurbished location in the front of the same building. Though the space is smaller and holds less stock, there was a strong expectation that foot-fall would increase greatly. We therefore wanted a security system which could provide robust security whilst enhancing stock management e.g. allowing us to perform stock checks more easily, analyse usage patterns and create bibliographies for displays. RFID appears to be a technology that is future proof in that it will allow us to exploit future technological developments with ease. For example, we are particularly interested in how we can interact with stock e.g. using hand-held devices to explore the stock."

Neil anticipates that the library market sectors will continue to present major opportunities for specialist installers such as Intrepid Security. "We have invested considerable time and effort to ensure that we totally understand the operation perimeters of libraries and can therefore recommend and implement solutions that are both affordable and effective."
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