Cleveland Library seeks radio frequency identification technology

Cleveland Library seeks radio frequency identification technology

February 8th, 2014 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Cleveland-Bradley County Public Library.

Photo by Paul Leach/Times Free Press.

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To learn more about the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library's Geek the Library campaign, go to http://geek.clevelandlibrary.org/.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Radio might be the route for improving circulation processes at the Cleveland-Bradley County Public Library, officials said.

Library trustees voted 7-0 at a recent meeting to request proposals for a radio frequency identification system that's expected to ease check-in and check-out of materials, increase inventory accuracy and provide significant productivity gains.

The technology, which is used in retail store security systems and "fast pass" credit-card payment devices at automated fuel pumps, will allow for an "improved and friendly process" for patrons who want to use self-checkout stations, library Director Andrew Hunt said.

A big advantage to adopting an RFID system is that it will allow multiple items to be checked out simultaneously instead of one at a time, Hunt said.

He said the library would benefit from having two RFID checkout stations in the lobby and one in the children's section.

Library staff will be trained to assist patrons as they learn the new checkout process.

Hunt also addressed some internal and public concerns about the new technology. He said it's not intended to replace staff members and it won't transmit personal information.

"The only thing it reads is the book's bar code," Hunt said. "It doesn't give patron info."

Proposals are due March 5 at 3 p.m.

In other business, Hunt reported that the Geek the Library campaign, which seeks to create awareness of the critical and far-reaching role public libraries play in lives of their communities, has successfully launched.

He played a video of local patrons who told what they "geeked," or were passionate about, and how the Cleveland-Bradley County Public Library helped them engage those interests, which included history, health, art and outdoor activities.

A key aspect of the Geek the Library program is to highlight how many parts of the community the library is actually reaching, library board members said.

Library board Chairman John Hagler also discussed the importance of having community leaders involved with the public library system. He cited a number of current and former library trustees and supporters who had recently received recognition for their contributions to the local business community.

"I think there is a real need for a connection there," Hagler said. "I think that's something we can all be very proud of when we have that kind of interest by community leaders in the public library, because the public really benefits greatly by that."

The library board also reviewed plans to host another genealogy program at its History Branch on March 9 as part of the monthly "2nd Sunday @2" series.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.