RFID at the Library

The Library is currently switching all materials from a barcode-based system to RFID tags. This new system will give library patrons and staff a faster and more efficient check in, checkout, and overall material handling experience.

What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Each tag holds the material's information, along with an antenna. Circulation desks at each location have a reader that activates the signal for each material. All self-check stations also have a reader that activates the signal.

How does RFID at the library work?

RFID readers emit signals that search for a tag. When a tag comes within range, the signal hits it, "awakens" the tag, and provides the power for the tag to respond with the kind of information that the RFID reader wants. The only information stored in the tag is the item's barcode. The RFID system relays that barcode to the library management system, which retrieves the title, checks it out, and generates a receipt.

I use the self-check machines. How will this change for me?

Good news! You'll no longer need to line up each item's barcode to the barcode scanner. Instead, when you place a stack of books on the self-check machine's scan bed (the white rectangle), your items will start to check out.

Although the machine can reliably check out a large number of items at once, we recommend placing two or three on it at a time to make it easier to confirm that the machine successfully scanned your items.

A self-check machine at the library. The machine's white scan bed is outlined in red for emphasis
For the best experience when using self-check, place items on the scan bed, which is outlined in this photo.
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