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RFID | Goldfields Library Corporation

About RFID

Introducing RFID – a new borrow and return loans system for Goldfields Libraries

From January 2014 Goldfields Library users will notice changes in all branches as the new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system goes live with Self Loan Stations. The new RFID system replaces the barcode system currently used to identify items in the collection. Self-Loan Stations speed up the borrowing process for users.

The introduction of this new system brings the Goldfields Library Corporation into line with many other libraries across the State, and offers a number of benefits for staff and library members. The RFID system cuts the time members spend waiting for books to be borrowed and returned and increases the time Library Staff are available to assist members find the information they want.

Frequently Asked Questions about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

What is RFID and where is it used?
RFID is Radio Frequency Identification and is used for tracking and identification. A new RFID system will replace the current barcode system at Goldfields Libraries speeding up the borrow and return process.

RFID technology is used around the world in many places:

  • Warehouses and transport
  • Veterinary Surgeries (micro-chipped pets)
  • eTags on tollways
  • Airlines for baggage tracking
  • Hospitals
  • In many Libraries worldwide!

Why RFID?
The use of RFID technology creates efficiencies and improves collection management. The RFID system will also assist with new technologies used in the library; simplify transaction processes and enable staff to deliver more services and programs to the community. Library staff will have more time to offer their skills and knowledge to users and develop programs and activities on the library floor- ultimately providing greater value to the Goldfields Libraries community.

How will I borrow items with the new system?
New Self-Loan Stations will be the easiest and quickest way to borrow an item at Goldfields Libraries. As well as the familiar barcodes, all our items now have an RFID tag. The tag allows our members to use their membership card to borrow items via the Self Loan Stations. The Stations allow members to borrow multiple items quickly and easily themselves. Library Staff will always be available for assistance.

Will all Goldfields Libraries have RFID technology?
Yes. All our items will be tagged, allowing the entire Goldfields Libraries collection to be managed by this new technology.

Where does the RFID technology come from?
Goldfields Libraries is pleased to be working with FE Techonologies, a Geelong-based Australian company supplying RFID equipment. Most of the equipment we are using has been built in Australia.

"Radio Frequency" - is that a potential health concern?
No. The tags and scanners work at 13.56 MHz, just above that of AM radio. It is not like mobile phone technology which works at a much higher frequency. The RFID scanners and security gates have only a short range for their transmitters and the technology does not interfere with pacemakers, hearing aids or other similar devices.

What about staff jobs? Will there be fewer staff to help me?
No. This technology has been introduced to improve customer service. Along with our collections, our staff are our greatest assets and will continue to help you as required. Goldfields Libraries serve an ever growing community and RFID technology will help us to manage this growth over time. RFID technology simply provides our staff with an extremely effective means of managing large library collections, along with efficiently handling large numbers of loans and returns.

What about privacy?
Goldfields Libraries have always safeguarded your privacy and membership records. Our normal data protection precautions are in place and will remain so. You will continue to use your normal Library membership card to borrow. The nature of library RFID tags requires them to be 'read' by equipment closer than 20 - 30cm. It is not possible to scan items across a room or a street to 'read' what a person has borrowed.

Do you have other questions?
If you have any other questions about RFID please Goldfields Libraries Corporation

P: 03 5449 2700
E: ncgrl@ncgrl.vic.gov.au

Click here to download the RFID Frequently Asked Questions as a PDF document.