February 09, 2013

Fast and efficient, RFID scores an “A” for library

RFID helps tame the paper chase for leading South Korean university library.

Can’t judge a book by its cover? The old adage proves especially true with library operations, as books and other research items are often misplaced, hampering circulation. Like many university libraries, the University of Incheon in South Korea operates a large-scale, multi-campus operation: managing 500,000 educational and research items that are used by 10,000 students and other patrons. As a consequence, its library staff spends a disproportionate amount of their time performing tedious inventory counts and processing items to optimize their circulation.

When the library built its new Haksan library in Songdo, a completely planned and sustainable city that is world-famous for innovation, managers decided that only a state-of-the-art approach to automating its library operations would do. As a consequence, the management team decided to implement an RFID technology system to bring new levels of transparency and efficiency to critical library processes.

The library implemented an RFID-driven library automation system designed by South Korean firm ECO and tagged its 500,000-item inventory using RaceTrack™ HF RFID tags.

The new RFID system provides the library with significant business benefits including:

  • Self-service check-in and check-out, enhancing the customer experience
  • Faster, more accurate automated inventory counts
  • Improved book circulation, due to fewer misplaced items
  • The ability to redeploy staff on higher value tasks
  • A cardless system, as patrons swipe their own credit cards to check out items

The RFID deployment has been so successful that the library is planning to extend it to its Jemulpo campus. Looks like RFID is well on its way to becoming an academic superstar.

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