The Role of Radio Frequency Identification in Modern Libraries

The Role of Radio Frequency Identification in Modern Libraries

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8178-1.ch021
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This chapter reveals the role of radio frequency identification (RFID) in modern libraries, thus demonstrating the theoretical and practical concept of RFID; the utilization of RFID in global operations; RFID perspectives in modern libraries (i.e., operating cost, information technology infrastructure cost, skilled RFID workers, access rate, patron policy, data security, barcode factor, and patron issues); the applications of RFID in modern libraries (i.e., data management, circulation, inventory, assistance in searching and orientation, data accuracy and reliability, theft prevention, utilization statistics for serials, and personal service); and the significance of RFID in modern libraries. RFID solutions can be utilized to reduce the operating costs through decreasing labor costs, enhancing automation, improving tracking and tracing, and preventing the loss of materials. Applying the RFID will significantly improve educational performance and gain sustainable competitive advantage in modern libraries.
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RFID system began during the Second World War in the 1940s, when the system was used to locate and distinguish friendly aircraft from enemy ones. With time the system spread to other business industries such as manufacturing firms and livestock (Waddenkeri, 2006). Adopting a technological innovation for the right business need at the right time is one of most important strategic decisions that a firm has to make to gain and retain a competitive advantage (Park et al., 2010).

There are various reasons that motivate university libraries increasingly to go for RFID solutions. A number of authors (Biswas & Paul, 2010; Howard & Anderson, 2007; Madhusudhan, 2010; Waddenkeri, 2006) have advanced numerous reasons that make RFID systems practically attractive in library and information establishments. The development and evaluation of the library application has demonstrated that RFID can be successfully integrated into library systems (Mehrjerdi, 2011). The success of RFID application depends on many factors such as the size of enterprise as data should travel along the movement path of tracked objects, hardware components (tag readers) should be installed, signal collision among RFID tags at different levels (i.e., item, box, and pallet) need to be dealt with (Barjis & Fosso Wamba, 2010).

RFID in modern libraries is recognized as a productive tool for flow management rather than barcodes and other identification technologies (Koneru, 2004). RFID technology is the rising interest in the library community because of its applications, which promise to increase efficiency and productivity and enhance user satisfaction (Biswas & Paul, 2010). Technical challenges of RFID implementation include tag cost, standards, tag and reader selection, data management, systems integration and security (Li, Visich, Khumawala, & Zhang, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Technology: A set of tools, processes, and methodologies and associated equipment employed to collect, process, and present information.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): An automatic identification of packages, products, and machinery through attached transponders.

Digital Library: A collection of digitized documents, images, and sounds that can be accessed and read by the use of computers.

Business: An organization or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money.

Data Communications: The high speed data exchange between computers and/or other electronic devices through cable or wireless.

Collection: A process of recovering amounts owed to a firm by its customers.

Electronic Library: A Physical site and/or website that provides 24-hour online access to digitized audio, video, and written material.

Information Science: The body of knowledge that provides theoretical basis for information technology and includes subjects such as computer science, library science, artificial intelligence, mathematics of programming, and theory of problem solving.

Knowledge Management: The strategies and processes designed to identify, capture, structure, value, leverage, and share an organization's intellectual assets to enhance its performance and competitiveness.

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