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New Library Technology - A New Zealand First

For Immediate Release
14 May 2004

New Library Technology - A New Zealand First

New Zealand's first public library application of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology has been announced.

Manukau City's new Botany library, scheduled to open in October, will be installed using the new microchip-based technology. The RFID solution is specifically designed to streamline library support functions such as security and shelf-management.

Manukau library manager, Chris Szekely says the Checkpoint Meto technology offers the library significant security and efficiency gains as an extraordinary amount of staff time is used ordering shelves, in lost book searches and real time update of items.

"With this system, stocktakes which take two days and require libraries to close will now be completed in a number of hours," says Szekely.

"And, when books have been placed on the wrong shelves we no longer have to go through the shelves physically looking for them. They'll simply be located by walking around the library with a wand which picks up the frequency of the book's tag."

Checkpoint Meto business development manager, Rex Worthington says the installation of the radio frequency based system will offer many other benefits as well. For example, it is considerably more user friendly with touch screens and significantly more efficient self checkout and returns equipment.

"With existing systems the book had to be placed one at a time in exactly the right spot for the barcode to be read," says Worthington.

"With the new system, the intelligent chip enables the book to be identified anywhere within a specified field regardless of how it's held. It also enables you to process multiple books simultaneously in just a moment of time."

Security and management of items will also be enhanced by instantaneous identification of non-issued items at point of departure. Door readers will now specifically identify which non-issued item is being taken from the premises.

Internally the Checkpoint System will assist with management and inventory control. Librarians will be able to determine which items are being used most frequently or if a book has become obsolete because the system supplies usage data electronically.

"In the past it's been quite hard to tell if some books are being used," Szekely says. "With this system we'll be able to tell if they're not being used at all, or if they're being removed from the shelves for short periods, maybe for reference purposes."

Szekely said selection of Checkpoint Meto was the culmination of rigorous evaluation of RFP (Request For Proposal) responses, short listed vendor product demonstrations and worldwide reference checking.

Instalment of the RFID-based security and circulation management system was awarded to Checkpoint Meto, a wholly owned subsidiary of United States based Checkpoint Systems Inc. "We were delighted with the Checkpoint proposal, and look forward to developing a relationship characterised by innovation and smart thinking."


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