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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What Are We Doing?

If you've been on the Library's 4th floor recently, you may have asked yourself,
"What on earth are they doing?"
After months (years?) of planning, we are preparing for a new RFID system.

RFID stands for "Radio Frequency Identification." In a library, that translates into small tags placed into every item that is available for check out. For people like you, that translates into fast, automated check in and check out. Once the system is in place, the two most noticeable improvements for patrons will be that items are instantly checked in upon return - you'll even receive a check in "receipt" - and multiple items can be checked out at one time. No more struggle as you try to line up the books' bar codes, one by one, under the red light. Put your stack of items on the reader and it does the work for you.

But, that's down the road apiece. In the meantime, we are busy, busy, BUSY adding RFID tags to more than 200,000 items in the Library. Every single library employee, from every department, is participating, so you're probably seeing faces you don't recognize.
(That's Chang Hong from our Circulation staff in the photo above.) We are tagging every hour that the Library is open in order to complete this large task as quickly as possible. The tagging workstations make beeping and buzzing sounds to cue us in - if you're a "Star Wars" fan, it may sound like R2-D2 is out in the bookshelves! We will keep you posted on our progress and what RFID means to you, the people we serve. If you see us tagging, stop by and say hello!

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