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RFID in the library

Our Kapunda and Freeling branches have recently taken delivery of new self-loan stations. They’ll provide you with the option of borrowing at the station or being served by our team at the front counter. 

The choice will always be yours!

RFID self-loan station

What is RFID?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is “the use of an object (an RFID tag) added to a product for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves”. Library items are ‘tagged’ and the RFID scanner reads the microchip that’s inserted in the tag to identify and process the item. Current barcodes and scanners will continue to be used in our libraries.

Why do we have RFID?
RFID library resources and materials can be processed at much faster speeds because multiple RFID tags can be read at once. This means you can place a single stack of items onto the RFID scanning station and all of the items will be checked out to you. There’s no need to scan each item individually. The system also allows you to borrow items with total privacy. 

How do we use it?
We’ve added RFID tags to all our items,  which allows you or library staff to quickly and accurately ‘check out’ those items. If you need help one of our friendly staff will always be on hand and able to assist. 

Is the radiofrequency used in RFID scanners a health concern?
No. The tags and scanners work in the shortwave radio band, which is the same as ordinary radio waves that have been all around us for decades. RFID is not like mobile phone technology which works at a much higher frequency. RFID scanners do not interfere with pacemakers, hearing aids or other similar devices.

What about staff jobs? Will there be less staff to help me?
No. RFID has been introduced to improve customer service. Staff are one of our best and most valuable resources and will continue to help you as required. Staff will be able to spend more time with you supporting you with library-related enquiries.

What about privacy?
Your privacy won’t change. We’ll continue to protect your privacy and membership records as we do now. You will continue to use your normal barcode and 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.

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