An Agent-Based Library Management System Using RFID Technology

An Agent-Based Library Management System Using RFID Technology

Maryam Purvis (University of Otago, New Zealand), Toktam Ebadi (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-576-4.ch010
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The objective of this research is to describe a mechanism to provide an improved library management system using RFID and agent technologies. One of the major issues in large libraries is to track misplaced items. By moving from conventional technologies such as barcode-based systems to RFID-based systems and using software agents that continuously monitor and track the items in the library, we believe an effective library system can be designed. Due to constant monitoring, the up-to-date location information of the library items can be easily obtained.
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Some researchers have worked in integrating agent-based systems with RFID technology for tracking and monitoring purposes (Mamei & Zambonelli, 2005). Our work is inspired by their approach in adopting the RFID technology with agent-based systems.

In the previous works (Choi, et al., 2006; Molnar & Wagner, 2004) that have used RFIDs for library management system, most of the focus has been on automating the process of check-in and check-outs carried out at the circulation desks, automation of inventory management process and sorting returned items (RFID Sorting, 2007). The RFID technology has also been used in enabling antitheft functionality by requiring the gate sensors to check whether an item has been issued or not.

The authors of R-LIM system (Choi et al., 2006) describe how the position of tagged items in the library can be identified within a shelf, based on the shelf locator tags that indicate the relative position of the books in a particular rack of the bookshelf. In their approach, manual scanning (using a hand-held scanner) was employed to read the tags of the library items in a shelf. It was assumed that the library items are placed in their correct location. This may not be easily assumed in an open library stack where numerous patrons interact with the library artefacts. To ensure consistency, the library staffs need to periodically check the shelves for possible misplaced items. This is a tedious and time consuming operation. To our knowledge, not much work has been done that identifies the location of misplaced items in an automated manner.

In our system we have incorporated the idea of continuous monitoring of the library items which facilitates easier identification of misplaced items and their locations.

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