Sunday, April 13, 2014

RFID Interview / Hands-on Play Double Post

I wasn't able to post anything about my interview with my specialist due to scheduling troubles, but I finally got a hold of them and decided to piggyback the post together with my "hands-on" post.

I found the interview both surprised me and reinforced some of my assumptions about the implementation at a newly-remodeled local library (three guesses as to where). My main focus was for the changeover during the interim period; as locals may know, the remodeled library had an amazingly small satellite location for people to pick up holds and do some light browsing, while the remainder of the collection was stored offsite, where they went item-by-item and outfitted the materials with RFID chips.

I asked how patrons reacted to the new system, and it was remarkably positive. Being a regular patron to that branch, I can corroborate the sentiment. People found that using RFID actually sped up the checkout process for those that use self-checkout, and those who usually used clerk checkout loved learning about it.

I actually spent some time investigating the machines at the branch and tried to test some basics about it (range, how many materials were detected simultaneously, etc) and was quite surprised at the capabilities. There was signage saying "only put three or four materials on the station at a time", but I was able to put the seven or so items I checked out without issue; it just ticked them off the list one by one.

I also inquired about the frequency of "false positive" material alerts upon exit. Apparently, the implementation of RFID hasn't really changed the number at all (compared to the old magnetic system). I for one have not experienced any false positives while exiting the library...yet.

Overall, both the interview and the "hands-on play" were helpful to help me get a better grasp on the technology.

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