The Central District Library here has introduced radio frequency identification system (RFID) to ensure the safekeeping of the books for the first time in Tamil Nadu.
This technology, which is available in universities and academic libraries, has been in use here for the last few months.
A.P. Shivakumar, District Library Officer, says that the technology was brought to ensure that books were taken out of the library after being checked out properly.
“The RFID allows us several advantages that we can ensure that nobody takes it out without our knowledge. Until now, there was no protection of the library’s collection. If someone walks out without checking out an item, it’s gone, and the library doesn’t know what was taken or it will take an inventory check to know,” he says.
The technology will also allow seamless returning of books.
“We have introduced a ‘drop box’ where the reader can just drop the book into it and the scanning and returning can be done within minutes,” he says, adding that stock verification has also become easy.
“What usually takes us about a week takes only a day or two and does not require all the staff to devote their time to it.”
The security gate placed at the entrance will light up and sound an alarm whenever a non-checked-out item passes through — similar to retail stores.
“Even if we are unable to catch the person, which is highly unlikely, we will also have a record of the item stolen, so it can be replaced,” he says.