RFID Installation Speeds and Secures School Library Processing


Red Mountain Middle School in Deming, NM has implemented a radio frequency identification technology in its library for self-service checkout. The school chose RFID technology from Integrated Technology Group, which specializes in library automation technologies. The school, which opened in 2007 and currently has about 900 students, has a library collection of 9,000 volumes. That is expected to grow to 20,000 by the next school year.

"I think we are really trendsetting for public schools," said Teresa Ortiz, library media specialist at the school. "Before ITG installed RFID, I did not have quality time to spend collaborating with teachers to build new learning programs for students. Now I am able to devote much more energy toward collaboration and do what library media specialists are supposed to do--teach!"

The new RFID system includes Apex XpressCheck patron self-service kiosks, an Apex PowerReader wand for inventory purposes, Apex RFID DirectReader software and Apex RFID security pedestals installed at exits for loss protection.

The DirectReader software enables the library to integrate RFID technology into existing library applications. The application replaces bar code scanning with the action of placing a stack of materials on an RFID pad. The user can check in a stack of items or use the "one-at-a-time" method. The security is set on or off at the same time. The staff can turn a tag's security bit on or off independently of any other process.

The school estimates that the new set-up reduces inventory processes to half a day instead of two and a half weeks. Ortiz said is she using the extra time to develop curriculum for an Internet research course that teaches the students how to use the Internet effectively.

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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.