Grab a partner and do the RFID do-si-do. This is what has been going on here behind our closed doors, a whole lot of dancing. Except this kind of dancing is long and tedious work. Here we see one staff member "tagging". This is the process of placing an RFID tag somewhere in the book. The other staff member turns the RFID tag on by scanning the item's barcode. This matches the barcode number to the RFID tag placed inside the book. It might sound like a simple two step, but it must be repeated nearly 180,000 times as that is the number of items in the Round Rock Public Libraries collection. This is no small task.
With almost every aisle resembling the ones you see above and below, there is simply no way that we could have done this without closing. We do appreciate the patience and understanding of our wonderful community.
What this RFID upgrade means for you, the reader and patron, is easier check-out and a more accurate check-in process.
During check-out, the first step will still be to scan your library card. The second step is what is exciting. The RFID technology will allow you to place several items at a time on a large black plate. The plate is actually an antenna that can scan for the radio frequencies being transmitted via the RFID tags. This enables several items to be checked out at once and without even having to scan a barcode! Gone are the days of those awkward-to-use self check machines!
The check-in process will be much more efficient as well. You'll still return the books in the same book drop locations you're used to, but the books will be checked in much faster as the same simple process will work for us checking in the books.
Closing this week has also given us the opportunity to run new cable throughout the entire library (another job that is no small task). David Wongwai of the City of Round Rock's IT department said, "What we're doing here is upgrading all the networking to the latest standard which requires replacing all the networking cables, switches and routers. This will put us in a position to be sufficiently equipped when the time comes for further technological advancements."
All in a week's work. We're nearly halfway there. We'll see you soon!
Peace and Such,
The Round Rock Public Library