• Annemarie Taylor

Hawkesbury Library opens page on faster borrowing

Hawkesbury Library Service has just completed a new project to equip 111,000 library items with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, making it easier and faster for library visitors to borrow.

RFID tracking on books means more time for reading

The move will also increase staff efficiency, enabling the library to modernise circulation equipment, checkout stations and security gates.

Each library item now has a microchip containing all of the information about the item and its issuing conditions. The library member takes the items they wish to borrow to the self-loan machine which scans the items, loans them to the borrower and prints out a receipt with the return date.

For library borrowers it means you can now place multiple items together in a stack on the self-loan machine and it reads all microchips without having to scan each item individually. This creates a faster and more efficient borrowing experience for the library patron, says Hawkesbury Council.

It also brings Hawkesbury Library Service up to speed with the latest standards in library practices and technology. This new faster system replaces the previous barcode reading system.

During the COVID-19 closure, Hawkesbury Library Service staff worked to prepare the library for RFID.

RFID technology enables a more efficient inventory, security and circulation system.

The RFID technology represents no threat to privacy, says Hawkesbury Council. The nine barcode number identifies the item and no bibliographic information will be on the tag. The security component will tell if the item is checked out or not. The RFID tags on library material can only be deciphered within 100 centimetres of the library RFID reader.

RFID technology means quicker library borrowing

RFID combines circulation and security deactivation into one process, so staff can process materials far more efficiently and accurately.

To return books and other library items library visitors place the item in the new return chutes inside each of the libraries – Windsor and Richmond - and the items are automatically returned from the visitor’s card. This means you no longer need to wait for staff to return the items.

The saved time will allow staff to provide even better customer service, says Hawkesbury Council. The after-hours return chutes outside Hawkesbury Central and Richmond Branch Libraries are still available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The project was funded through a Library Infrastructure Grant from the NSW State Government to improve technology services.

If you are not a library member it is free and easy to join.

You can join online at https://aurora.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/library/Join.aspx or by visiting Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond.

Picture credit: Silversalt Photography

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