Information and communication technology has changed traditional libraries into virtual and digital spaces, register system into barcode systems, and reduced the efforts of handling volumes and manpower utilisation. As a result, people are very enthusiastic when visiting the library and have become proponents of value-based services. Among other technologies, the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the latest library security system that was introduced to prevent library theft. It is another form of an automated identification system only that this form goes beyond security. It combines protection with efficient tracking of materials in the library. Also, it offers easy and fast material handling, inventory management and discharge of duties. The technology was developed in the 1940s as a defence mechanism and was first applied in 1980 for cattle tracking applications. Library suppliers only began to sell this library security system in the mid-1990s.
What is RFID?
The technology uses wireless radio communications to identify assets or people. It is similar to how a cell phone works but RFID technology combines a microchip and radio frequency to improve library operations by enhancing the efficiency of library users and library transactions. The technology also enhanced control against improper filing of assets, non-returns and most importantly, theft. Many libraries are adopting RFID technology in a bid to automate inventory management, library circulations and enhance the library security system.
How RFID Enhances Library Security System
RFID is a proven technology for improving a library security system. This is because it allows item identification using RFID tags that activate the RFID security gates and provide the item’s title, the gate corridor and other essential information instantly to the staff at the station. An RFID tag has an aluminium antenna and a microchip that functions at 13.56 MHz. It is programmed with security and identification information and attached to library materials. When used along with RFID readers, the tags can be identified at a distance to detect items and their security status.