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This document intends to support the foundation of a new Special Interest Group for Radio Frequency Identification - Technology in libraries. If you feel immediately comfortable with this suggestion please jump to the end of the document and sign it.

Because the default language for anonymous use of the cited wiki-page is german, some advice: Please click the "Barbeiten" Button, add your signature at the end of the document, enter the letters from the Captscha-Image and store (with "Speichern") - that's all. You don't have to be an IFLA member or official representative to sign. But you should really intend to participate in the SIG. If the SIG-RFID is approved by IFLA the first face to face meeting is planned for IFLA WLIC 2011 in Puerto Rico, the day to day work form will take place by electronic collaboration.

Background within Information Technology Section

The proposal for an RFID Special Interest Group was first discussed on the occasion of the 69th IFLA General Conference and Council 2003 in Berlin with the open session of IFLA’s Information Technology session “Wireless Technologies for Library Services – RFID in Use”.

Since then, other meetings have been held dealing with this topic e.g. during the mid-year conference in March 2008 of the IFLA Section Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation (PAC), where they were concerned with “Salvage in case of disaster in libraries and archives: How RFID and regular practical training can help to be efficient”.

Another event took place at the Metropolitan Libraries Section of IFLA during the conference in Singapore with the title “Library as a Fusion Space: Possibilities and Opportunities” which concluded that “RFID seems to be the future”. The most recent comment about RFID comes from the latest ITS Newsletter in July 2010.

It was stated that: RFID technology continues to advance faster than the standards for adoption in the library community. A range of concerns exist around current RFID implementations, including those of privacy, security of the tags and longevity. Equally the emerging ISO standards for RFID appear, like the ISO/ILL standards, over-engineered and lacking flexibility in implementation approach (such as would permit ―right-sizing‖ for different library contexts). Both UHF and HF tags have advanced and costs of the technology has reduced. A lightweight tag protocol would permit simpler implementation approaches in smaller libraries who primarily look for stock control. The lock-out of UHF in the current ISO standards is disappointing and may limit innovation in this area.

As a summary it can be seen that up until now, during the latest conferences and meetings held by IFLA, the subject of RFID was more a side issue and that now we could change this situation through the foundation of a SIG into making this a main IFLA topic.

Today our common understanding is that the RFID approach and the underlying technologies are one of the most significant and important challenges facing libraries; offering great potential to enhance front and back office services and strengthening the library position compared to the RFID and LMS/ILS suppliers concerning applications, interfaces and so on. Since libraries first started using RFID systems in the late 1990s there are now about 3,000 libraries worldwide that have identified the advantages of this technology and many more that are planning to introduce it.

At present we have two annual conferences with a special focus on RFID, one took place during the first days of the Frankfurt Book Fair week in October in Berlin (three times) and the other one in the first half of November in London (six times).However, we lack an international platform to discuss this on a continuous basis.

ITS sees a need for an ongoing discussion about this technology and libraries in a broader scope across different approaches.

Mission of the proposed SIG-RFID

 Some topics, connections and questions concerning this technology are very often repeated in presentations that share a focus on RFID, for example:

  • Is UHF or HF the right technology for libraries as some libraries in Asia and booksellers work with UHF solutions?
  • How important are common data models, thick interfaces and APIs between LMS/ILS and RFID devices, quality management of tags and embedded equipment such as security gates?
  • Which frequency technology will run into the future, HF or UHF?
  • How dangerous is electromagnetic pollution?
  • What are the problems with privacy issues?
  • Could it be an advantage to organise and manage the document delivery e.g. for inter-library loans with logistic support of RFID solutions?
  • Could permanent stock inventory using RFID technology become a reality?
  • How could we organize a better usability of RFID self-booking units?
  • In which RFID-based workflows in a library are outsourcing steps possible?

However, these opportunities and issues are still only known to a small community of technically experienced librarians and the strategic importance of these topics to the library community in general has to be demonstrated. Technologies like these are still at an early stage and the creation of a community of interests among professionals will be needed in order to develop and mainstream them.

Therefore the SIG-RFID intends to be the platform where interested professionals could come together and undertake whatever tasks are needed to develop, enhance and facilitate the adoption of RFID technologies in the library community.

IFLA would be an ideal place for sharing our common knowledge of RFID in the library context.

Goals of SIG-RFID
  • To be an open place to discuss subjects related to the topic RFID and libraries, create standards and guidelines and contribute to any other relevant work within and outside IFLA.
  • To strengthen and transform the professional knowledge of libraries in the RFID area by providing training and information to IFLA professionals, thus contributing to IFLA’s strategic plan for 2010 – 2015; to raise awareness among the library community about the relevance and potential of RFID technologies for libraries and to provide training and workshops in order to improve the librarians’ know-how in this area.
  • To market the libraries’ knowledge and know-how to other communities and with the actors of the RFID at large thus acting as the global voice of libraries in this field.

 In order to reach these goals the SIG-RFID will:

  • organize and promote events during the IFLA Congresses (SIG-RFID sessions, satellite meetings, training workshops, social events);
  • monitor ongoing projects (standards, tools, techniques) within or outside IFLA, and provide up-to-date information and reports using IFLA information and communication channels;
  • organize specific task groups to undertake new projects when needed;
  • bring together a community of professionals using appropriate on-line tools (mailing list…)

This group will help to highlight RFID’s advantages, to avoid pitfalls and to provide an opportunity for non-commercial communication. For these reasons we ask for approval of the new RFID Special Interest Group (SIG-RFID). Therefore we ask you to support the proposed SIG-RFID.

Please confirm your intention to participate in the Special Interest Group RFID by putting your name under this document! Click on the "Bearbeiten"-Button, fill in your name, ingest the captscha-code, store ("Speichern") - ready!

Frank Seeliger

Reinhard Altenhöner

Mick Fortune,

Library RFID adviser to MLA and BIC (UK)


Jochen Rupp

Jagadish Chandra Aryal

Mahmoud Khalifa, Cybrarians, Egypt
moud@cybrarians.org (mailto: moud@cybrarians.org)

Amelie Vallotton Preisig

Frederick Zarndt, Chair IFLA Newspapers Section

Janet Lynch Forde Chicago, Illinois

Anja Weng, Berlin

Grelda Ortiz, Barcelona, Spain

Margaret Hazel,   Eugene, OR, USA  margaret.e.hazel(at)ci.eugene.or.us

Dr. Amruth Sherikar
University Deputy Librarian,
Gulbarga University
Karnataka India

 Alan Hopkinson

Middlesex University

London NW4 4BT

Alex Byrne, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Laura Peters, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Netherlands (national library)

Froyman Stefaan, Project Manager Provincial Library System Public Libraries, Province West-Flanders, Belgium

Mrs. Ruvini Kodikara, Librarian, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Peeter Kondratjev, IT-manager, Tallinn University Academic Library, Estonia, peeter@tlulib.ee

Anke Berghaus-Sprengel, Humboldt Universität, Universitätsbibliothek

Angelika Hofmockel, Hochschule Augsburg, Bibliothek

Marianne Pohl

Dr. Stephan Schwarz, Bavarian State Library, Munich, Germany

Katrin Kabitzke

Gabriele Pohl Public Library, Munic, Germany

Edmund Balnaves
Information Officer, IFLA IT Section
Prosentient Systems

Stefan Brunthaler, TH Wildau, Germany

Eldor Walk, FEIG, Germany

Oliver Altmann M.A., Stadtbibliothek Ludwigsburg

9 Kommentare

  1. Anonym sagt:

    Alex Byrne, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

  2. Anonym sagt:

    Laura Peters, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Netherlands (national library)

  3. Anonym sagt:

    Edmund Balnaves
    Information Officer, IFLA IT Section
    Prosentient Systems

  4. Anonym sagt:

    Stefan Brunthaler, TH Wildau, Germany

  5. Anonym sagt:

    Eldor Walk, FEIG, Germany

  6. Anonym sagt:

    Leif Andresen
    Danish Agency for Libraries and Media

  7. Anonym sagt:

    Horst Twelkemeier

    Sales and Marketing

    mk Sorting Systems GmbH, Germany


  8. Anonym sagt:

    Mahmoud Sayed Abdou

    Librarian, Library Of Congress-Cairo Office, Egypt

    RFIDinlibrary, Founder and Administrator



  9. Anonym sagt:

    Carlos Cortés Danta

    R&D Manager at Libera Networks (Spain)

    Libera RFID Library System - http://www.libera.net/productos/libera-rfid-library-system


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