Library to Offer Self Checkout
There are some new faces at the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library â€“ three staff members have been hired on a temporary basis to help implement Radio-Frequency Identification technology (RFID), which will help the Library launch new services, including self-checkout options for library users.
As part of the process, staff will place an RFID tag on each of the 51,000 items in the Libraryâ€™s collection, a process that will take 4-6 weeks. Simply put, an RFID tag is a â€śbarcode on steroidsâ€ť: it is a tag that contains a microchip and antenna that stores identification and security information about the item it is attached to. The information on the tag is read by passing through a field of radio waves, and the information is read wirelessly and contact free.
Once all of the tags are in place, a self-checkout unit will be installed, along with staff units at the check-out desk. The self-check unit will allow Library patrons to check out their own items easily and quickly. Future phases of the project include the installation of automatic check-in chutes, another self-check unit, and theft prevention gates.
â€śImplementing RFID will have so many benefits for both our patrons and our staff,â€ť says Angela Kublik, Library Director. â€śIt will help us speed up processes such as check-out and check-in… Self-check will also help increase patron privacy, since people will have the option to check out items on their own.â€ť
â€śThis is a very important project for the Library,â€ť says Matthew Fellows, Library Board Chair. â€śThe Library Board has noticed that libraries with new or expanded facilities… often open to a huge surge in new users and use. This project will help us prepare for that increase in use.â€ť
Funding for the project was provided by the City of Fort Saskatchewan. RFID technology is being implemented in libraries around the world, including public libraries throughout
the Capital Region.