St. Petersburg Library RFID-automation – A Step Towards Better Reader Services

As part of the state program for the modernization of public libraries in St. Petersburg, RST-Invent LLC has successfully completed work on RFID automation of the processes of accounting, issuing and searching for publications in St. Petersburg public libraries.

In the period from 2011 to 2014, more than 150 libraries in St. Petersburg were automated based on RFID. Among them is the Centralized Library System (CLS) of the Primorsky district, consisting of a central district department and 8 branches.

Before the CLS of the Primorsky district there were tasks that were planned to be solved using RFID:

  • reduced time for serving readers;
  • automation of standard operations to increase productivity;
  • ensuring the safety of funds.

The principle of operation is that a radiofrequency tag is glued into each book, which has its own unique identifier that corresponds to a specific publication. All subsequent operations with books (reception, search, issuance, inventory) are carried out using reading equipment.

Also, the library card has been replaced with an electronic one with integrated RFID tag. Outwardly, it resembles a plastic card, on which the owner’s personal number is marked and belonging to the library that issued it. This ticket is serviced in any of the libraries of the Corporate Network of Public Libraries (CNPL) of St. Petersburg.

If earlier, when receiving and issuing books, a library employee had to manually fill out each form or scan a barcode, then with RFID it’s enough to put books on a desktop reader, the data about them will be displayed on the screen and written to the reader’s electronic form.

A self-service station has been installed in the central branch of the central central office of the Primorsky district. You can independently register books, extend, return, learn about debts by simply bringing the library card and literature to the reader. At the end of the session with the station, the reader receives a check with information about the operations performed.

The anti-theft function is provided by portal readers. When books are issued, the removal ban is lifted from the tag. In the event of unauthorized removal, a sound and light alarm is activated.

RFID automation greatly facilitated the work of employees during the inventory of the fund. In order to find the right book, check the correct placement of books on the shelves and keep records, the employee just needs to go to the shelves with a portable reader. Thus, time for standard operations is significantly reduced, errors associated with the “human factor” are eliminated, and a large number of employees are not required for inventory and library closures.

The introduction of RFID technology in libraries is, first of all, a transition to a new high-quality level of service for readers, a way to attract young people to libraries, making them modern and convenient.