RFID technology – American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference

Libraries across the USA are fast adopting radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) to increase the security for the library and their staff and to provide more convenience for visitors.

As a broad initiative across the industry when discussing the pain points of library staff, administrators and the public, radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) have become a popular method to address the needs of all concerned parties; library administrators, librarians, visitors and the community.

Here we’ll discuss the benefits in improved safety, future relevance, and visitor expectations. 

Increased safety

When customised for the individual library, RFID technology offers greater transparency and convenience for all concerned.

Security is increased for libraries , it offers more convenience and visitors and it protects the asset of taxpayers.

With every item in a library tagged with an RFID chip, you can track stolen or lost items. For example, if an item has not been checked out and is taken past a security gate, unknowingly or not, an alarm is sounded. Even if the visitor was unaware of their action the security gate will read the item’s RFID tag informing the system of which item was stolen, so it can be quickly replaced.

The RFID tags are built for high reliability and a long tag life, allowing library staff to inventory at high-speed. Faster inventory management is possible by using a wand, this allows books to be scanned while they’re still on the shelf. This ensures the health and safety of employees at work and a consideration for the safety of the public.

Future proof

Recently Deschutes Public Library in Bend, Oregon, made the decision to implement RFID technology utilizing the customisable system offered by FE Technologies.

The administrators and staff were encouraged by libraries they saw as innovative, like Hennepin County Library in Minnesota and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina.

This gave Oregon Library Director Todd ­Dunkelberg the confidence of knowing they were making the right choice with regards to implementing RFID technology and in helping streamline the check in/out process, shelf management, and anti-theft detection.

It’s features like this which helps the library at Bend Oregon, keep touch with the future needs of visitors.

In a very real sense, RFID technology future proofs the library’s function in the eyes of the community and keeps the facility relevant for many years to come.

Visitor expectations

This leads us to the most critical part of the equation, the public’s expectation.

In a digital world we are surrounded by streamlined convenience and where Apps have replaced many of what was considered convenient only 10 years ago; maps, encyclopedias, magazines, even food and travel.

The library sector needs to remain relevant and convenient and in line with the promises other products and services make to consumers in their day to day lives.

The public still desires the service of a publicly available and localised meeting place for books and other educational items as a community service.

A part of this relevance is protecting the library as a pillar within the community by making it technically easier and secure to check-in and checkout library items.

For this reason, FE Technologies enables people to check out items using an app on their phones.

Today RFID technology is already being used by many other major library systems around the United States.

If you have an interest in RFID technology book in for an informal discussion with one of FE Technologies team members.

The American Library Association’s 2019 conference.

Meet us at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference from June 20 – 25, 2019

FE Technologies will be represented and discussing topics such as innovation, the library of the future, transformation, emerging trends, best practices and community engagement.


Advance registration closes on June 15. A letter of confirmation will be sent by email once your full payment has been received. Make sure to print a copy of your registration confirmation and bring it with you for your records.