How will the RFID system affect services and staffing at APL?
There should be considerable cost saving over time. Not only should we lose fewer items, but checkout and return processes can be highly automated. New book drops will check items in as they are returned, and automated materials handling will use conveyor belts to sort returned items. As implementation of new equipment is phased in, we expect to save staff through attrition and by not using people to do repetitive tasks. Staff should be able to do more high-level tasks and help the public.
Why is the new process so much faster?
The new checkout process uses a combination of barcodes and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to identify items. RFID technology relies on radio waves, so checking out is quicker, more accurate, and easier.
Do I need to do anything differently?
To make the most of the RFID system, please remember to
- always bring your Library card
- inspect your items before checking out to be sure they are in good condition and contain all the necessary pieces.
- ask staff if you have any questions - we are here to help!
Do I have to use the self-check stations to check out?
No, but we think you’ll find our new self-checks are much easier and more enjoyable to use. We’ve removed most of the obstacles that discouraged people from using our current self-checks. At the new self-check stations you will be able to pay fines and release CDs and DVDs from the locked boxes. Please give them a try! As in the past, staff will always be available to help you should you need assistance.
Can I use the RFID checkouts to renew my items?
Yes, it is capable of renewing if your items can be renewed (e.g., they are not on hold for someone else or you haven't reached your renewal limit). Keep in mind that you can always log into your account at www.infosoup.org and renew from there. If you add your email address to your account information, we’ll send you a courtesy notice the day before items are due with a link to your account in InfoSoup so you can see if your item(s) may be renewed.
Do I need a new Library card?
No. Your card will continue to work.
Are there any health risks associated with RFID?
The World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that, at the frequency used by the Library’s RFID systems, there is no evidence of adverse effects to general health or pregnancy. Nor is there any record of interference with medical devices such as pacemakers.
Can someone use an RFID reader to determine what I am reading?
No. Libraries will continue to respect your reading privacy. To this end, the RFID technologies being used do not contain any title or personal information. Much like some new credit cards you see on TV, the item tags can only be read from a very short distance (around 18 inches). And once you return your materials, the link between the item you returned and your account is broken.
Is RFID a new technology in Libraries?
RFID has been successfully used in Libraries in Asia, Europe and North America for over a decade. In Wisconsin, you’ll find RFID used in Libraries in Marinette, Wauwatosa, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee and in many other communities across Wisconsin. RFID use in Libraries is safe and maintains your privacy. Increasingly, Libraries are adopting RFID technology to handle growing workloads.