For many large, well-funded libraries, there is no question that they will purchase most of their equipment, but what about smaller libraries? Leasing the latest equipment may seem like a great option, but it comes with several downsides. The idea that you can provide the latest and greatest self-check or have the most up to date security gates for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them outright may seem enticing. But are you saving money?


Leasing is frequently used for items like copier equipment or computers. Many libraries, even large, well-funded systems, will lease this equipment because it has a shorter shelf life. On the other hand, more durable equipment such as self-checkout kiosks and automated book returns or security gates don’t have the same economics. Leasing works best for items that will turn over quickly, and that requires a fair amount of ongoing maintenance. These factors generally don’t apply to an RFID solution where equipment may last 5 to 10 years or more.

Some libraries operate under the mistaken idea that if they lease, they might get more attention from the vendor. The thought process being; that because it’s a lease, that particular vendor will stay on top of maintenance and be more responsive to the library’s needs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. When a lease agreement is signed, the vendor is paid upfront by the leasing agent and has no incentive to maintain the machines promptly, and an outside entity may even hold the maintenance contract. For this reason alone, a library should purchase their RFID equipment whenever feasible. Leasing may be the best route to go if you have an aging system and no budget to fund a full replacement. However, if you do have the budget available, you are much better off directly purchasing your RFID system. Choose a vendor that cares about your relationship and has the library’s best interest as part of its core values. At FE Technology, we work hard to make sure our clients are getting the best possible deal within budgetary constraints. We want to make sure that what is purchased or leased from us is going to work for the needs of that library system. There are no hidden costs. We show you exactly how your library system is going to benefit from our services and products. We are here to help you serve your community in the best and most cost-effective way possible.