Question on CILIP

Question on CILIP

Question on CILIP: Are there any other security systems for libraries other than RFID? Which are available on low budget??


Dr. Keith Rathmill
Technical Sales Manager – S A Secure Ltd.

RFID Library Security is Now The Lowest Cost Solution!!!!!

The rapid growth in RFID Library Security Systems volumes during the last ten years has supported the development of low cost RFID solutions. The many advantages of RFID Library Technology, look set to ensure its continued dominance. These advantages include:

1. A digital security technology that is impervious to the many naturally occurring
sources of (analogue noise) interference.
2. Much wider spacing of security gates.
3. Slimmer, much more elegant, and less space consuming security gates.
4. Faster, multi book, circulation processing.
5. The ready availability of affordable, labour saving, ‘add-ons’ such as Self-Serve and
Hand-Held Shelf Management etc.
6. Comprehensive worldwide (ISO) standards enforcing multi vendor compatibility.

The organisation that I work for specializes in supplying and installing school and college library systems, and has over many years successfully provided all three of the available library security system technology options, namely; analogue Radio Frequency (RF), analogue Electro-Magnetic (EM) and digital RFID. However, within the past three years the reducing costs of RFID Library Systems, coupled with their many attractive advantages, have seen RFID library systems installed almost exclusively, across the whole educational market – from primary school to university.

Like the golden age of steam locomotives, eventually superceded by diesel-electric technology, the decades of electro-magnetic (EM) library security domination, are now a thing of the past – replaced by RFID for a variety of reasons including functionality and cost.

Functionality apart, it is now the case that RFID systems offer a lower system purchase cost in comparison with an EM solution, for all libraries with less than 16,000 books. At around 20,000 books, EM technology starts to show a small (systems purchase) cost advantage over RFID – but for (and above) this size of library, the value of RFID’s superior processing speed, and labour saving potentials, make it a ‘no brainer’ best option based upon ‘overall operational cost’ grounds.

Good ‘old fashioned’ analogue RF library security remains the lowest cost (systems purchase) option for smaller (<10,000 books) lending libraries, but the operational inefficiency of the cumbersome tag-pocket and detuner card circulation requirement, make it increasingly unattractive due to increasing pressure on library staff time.

So I agree,  in general, for a lending library the best investment option is a quality RFID solution. RFID is not only the best library security solution available, it is now the most cost effective option