At Aston University we have found 2 main benefits from RFID. The first one is that the self issue of material on our 3M v-series machines is much easier for our users with RFID than barcode. Very often students assumed they had to scan the ISBN on the book rather than the book barcode. We also had to make sure the barcode was level and in the correct place to make sure the books issued. With RFID they just need to put the book in the cradle and it is issued. We have also noticed our incidences of false alarms through incorrect issuing on self service has dropped to virtually nil as a result of RFID.
The second benefit is with regard to stock management. We have a DLA and use it to identify which books have reservations on and need to be removed from the trolleys before reshelving takes place. We also do regular sweeps of the shelves to find missing/lost books and have found a significant number of books as part of this process. This has the added advantage of not having missing items visible on the catalogue.
We did initially have some reservations about the benefits of RFID v the workload for implementing but overall we are pleased we did it and think it is a benefit to the library, its users and staff.
Emma Hurcombe BA (HONS), PGDip ILM, MA
Library & Information Services
Direct dial: 0121 204 4503
Internal dial: 4503
Fax Number: 0121 204 4530
Library web page: http://www.aston.ac.uk/lis
From: Discussion List for RFID in Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lewis, Geoff
Sent: 22 November 2011 11:10
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Case for moving from EM self-service to RFID
Warwick was in a similar position to you when we moved over to RFID. At the time we already had self-issue machines working with barcodes and our returns machine would accept barcode or RFID. Warwick was very interested in moving to RFID much more in connection to stock control. We have found wide disparities into what displays on the catalogue and what is actually on the shelf after we have done our initial stock checks using RFID. We hadn't done a stock check for 20+ years and have so far written off 7,000+ books that were missing, which we didn't know were missing, with work still being carried out to identify more. We also discover lots of errors that creep in over the years, from incorrect barcodes, mislabelled material, material that has been deleted, material in the wrong location. This allows us to be much more proactive in resolving shelving issues rather than reacting only when we get a missing book form. We will also be loading our weeding lists into the RFID scanners so as our staff work their way through the shelves (in the same way as they used to shelf tidy and shelf check) staff can shelf check, resolve errors, identify missing items and weed material.
Hope that helps.
Collections Development Manager
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 574161
Fax: 02476 524211
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
From: Discussion List for RFID in Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Simon Hall
Sent: 21 November 2011 12:31
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Case for moving from EM self-service to RFID
At the University of Roehampton we are in the process of building a business case for moving to RFID, I am convinced of the benefits, but it would obviously be a substantial investment. One of the reasons often cited for moving to RFID is to go from a issue desk model of service, to one based on self-service, thus freeing up staff time for redeployment/efficiency savings.
We have already made this move several years ago, based on an EM/barcode system. We have self issue/returns running at about 90% and have already scrapped our issue desk. With this in mind, I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has successful made the case to move from an EM based self-service system to RFID (particularly if you had already changed your service model). I would love to know what arguments you made in favour of RFID, whether you have seen a genuinely improved customer experience over EM or if you have made efficiencies in other areas of your service based on RFID?