I n t ro d u c i n g t h e Te c h n o l o g y
Policy and Organisational Framework
The current library applications of RFID technology can be put into practice by fol-
lowing clearly structured procedures.The process of tagging collection does not require
extensive training and is usually done successfully by the library staff.The standard work
procedures are facilitated after the implementation of RFID.Tensions due to expectation
of staff cuts are preventable.
The museum applications, while on the innovative side, are not so predictable.They lie
more on the border of current research and application of new technologies in experi-
mental ways.The estimation of unexpected outcomes can be more problematic.
Existing Infrastructures Required
The technological infrastructure in the organisation definitely changes with the imple-
mentation of RFID technology.This influences both hardware equipment such as gate
sensors, staff stations, check-out stations, tag printers and specialised wands and the instal-
lation of new software.
What organisational structures make
the technology appropriate?
The use of RFID technology does not influence the organisational structure. Usually a
core committee for the RFID implementation is set up, and all organisational staff
responsible for the collection management are likely to be involved in the project work.
A checklist of typical issues which will need to be discussed will include:
- Is preliminary planning covering all anticipated organisational processes, or just a
subset to start with?
- What are the performance criteria for the `ideal' system?
- Is the project plan realistic compared to the experience of other organisations?
- Is simultaneous use with barcodes envisioned?
- What are the needs with regards to staff training? Will the provider train the staff
- What is the most adequate way to introduce the technology to the visitors (users)?
Staffing levels and user base issues
Real-life experiences reported so far show that there is no need to introduce addi-
tional staff members.The future problem of reallocating some of the staff to other tasks
should be carefully considered.
Compared to other innovative technologies, this does not imply challenges to the user
in the sense that it covers traditional procedures which are normally known to the visi-
tors of the organisation.The mixed policy of having both self-check stations and staff
and Smart Tags