Archive | July, 2010

RFID coming to Melb Uni!

20 Jul

It’s so exciting.

FE Technologies was looking for a Millennium site they could set up with RFID to gain accreditation. I offered one of our smaller science branch libraries, and they got very enthused. They are going to tag everything for free, then loan us a self service kiosk for students to trial.

You can all come and visit!

The Chemistry Library was refubished last year. It’s traditional library footprint has been reduced, so it is now situated next to a computer lab, boasts a modern study space that stays open 24/7 with swipe card access, alongside a staff office, service desk and shelving for a reduced print collection (9000 borrowable items). Now that print collection will be RFID tagged and we can see how the library users perceive the benefits of this system.

We will be keeping our standard EM detection system, yet want to see what value RFID offers an open collection for self service, stocktake and decreasing staff handling of materials. It’s a single person library, so if they could stop handing reserve items over the counter, checking out and in books – real differences to their time. We will move the  reserve items out from behind the staff desk, and see if people will bother to check them out if they use in the study space.

So exciting. Something new and shiny!!

RFID and DVDs – a work in progress

19 Jul

As posted earlier Melbourne University had been looking for a way to tag matching dvds and cases, to reduce manual handling through checking items when returned.

It was very exciting when it worked on our QLS automated returns sorter. The items worked beautifully, passing back to the student if returned without correct items or empty. We got ready to start a massive project to tag every dvd.

Unfortunately we hit a snag. The combination of both tags on a single DVD appeared to cause collision in reading from our 3M V-series self checkout machines. We’ve been through all sorts of technical possibilities, including disabling the RFID option completely on our SCO’s (yes I was desperate). No luck.

So we tried some tags provided as a gift from Envisonware for trial – #AU-0773 Advanced Media Tags. They are larger and cover the whole DVD. Problem reduced!

So we’re trying some 3M equivalents next

X tags for RFID

X tags for RFID

X tags for RFID on a dvd

X tags for RFID on a dvd

(in exchange for the now large pile of useless DV8’s we have piled up here). They are A205 R03 which we think is an upgrade on the  A106 R01 tags (yet to see them).
Will keep you up to date with whether they work.

For those who are interested in why we may have this problem, one of the fabulous staff on this project did some networking and research on this issue.

It appears it has happened before. Some advice from another library who tried a similar 2 tag option on media last year indicated they felt there was a problem with the field range of the CD8 tag.

She found this great blog post which even includes a quick survey of other libraries reactions. [Maybe I should have done this BEFORE we trialled it as an option for us : – )] This does also seem to imply that a larger tag reduces the collision.

Once we have this working I will run some tours!

Update 26 August 2010

We have given up getting the 2 tag items to work as a set, and will be moving to single tagging dvds with the X tag from 3M instead. Means a much lower error rate on our 3M V-Series machines, than all the options trialling 2 tags.

New challenge for August?

18 Jul

So it’s obvious that I’m not good at blogging self directed!
Several people have noticed I haven’t blogged since the final day of #blogeverydayinjune

So I’m  suggesting a new challenge:

1 image + 1 comment through August  #1pic1thoughtinAug

Inspired by the new Director of the National Museum of Aust beautiful tumblogging:

I’ve got @malbooth and @katiedavis interested.

Come join us ….

You can do it by blog or join the Flickr group

For help with Twitter and Flickr see