RFID PROJECT SUMMARY The table illustrates that, by means of RFID self-service, staff time saving equivalent to one Full Time Equivalent staff member could be made. This saving in time could be used to run additional programs or activities including elevated levels of value-adding contact with library customers. An allowance should be made from this liberated staff time for ongoing support to users of the self-service equipment. The quantum of this allowance will fall over time as users become familiar with the equipment but will always be required as new members continue to join the library. It is important to note that the figures in the table reflect best practice in the Australian public library environment and optimal productivity. To achieve such an outcome, the change management project associated with the service transformation must deliver strongly in the following areas: Staff and library user engagement with the new self-service loans model Work practice improvements at the point of materials returns Restructured library policies including flexibility with fines and fees policy to facilitate efficient self-service processes Effective technology implementation and rollout Replacement of existing equipment At Unley and Goodwood branches, the item security gates and 3M express transaction units are well beyond their planned service life. Both Unley and Goodwood branches have 3M V- Series self-service units and these are approximately five and seven years old respectively. Five years is generally the accepted lifespan for a self-service unit. This equipment will require replacement regardless if RFID is implemented, and should be considered within the real cost of an RFID solution. Both Unley and Goodwood branches employ Bear print release software and there may be integration possibilities with the RFID system and the payment of fees or fines which will result in further efficiency gains and service improvements for users. All of the library stock is not tagged with security strips with approximately 55% of the collection secured. A move to RFID would extend the item security coverage to 100% as the RFID tag can perform the dual role of identification and security. 3. PROJECT JUSTIFICATION The following benefits are expected as a result of implementing RFID in the Unley and Goodwood branches: Customer service In addition to maintaining overall service levels, a primary benefit anticipated from RFID is the potential to enhance services delivered to library users. This service enhancement would be reflected in several contexts: The liberation of staff time from circulation based processes would allow for greater professional interaction with users in ways that add value to their visits to the library.
RFID PROJECT SUMMARY Providing library users with expanded opportunities to spend time face-to-face with library staff has the potential to result in greater customer satisfaction. Skilled library staff are able to assist library users as they attempt to locate specific material, browse for suitable recreational reading and information, or attempt to use any of the services provided by the library such as additional programs etc. The stock control benefits of RFID will enable greater visibility into the library’s collections and greater alignment of the databases and the physical items on the library shelves. This translates directly to improved material availability for users. Implementing a circulation architecture based on RFID technology also represents a significant strategic shift which positions the service to take advantage of new and innovative process enhancing technologies currently being developed around the world. Collection and stock management If a decision is made to move to an RFID enabled infrastructure, there are also significant benefits to be gained in the area of collection and asset management when compared to current practice. RFID enables existing tasks to be completed more efficiently as well as new tasks, which may have previously been impractical. Some of the areas for enhanced collection management include: Stocktake & inventory activities Significant collection security improvements Identification of lost or missing items Identification of incorrectly shelved items Collection of in house usage statistics One of the benefits of an RFID based infrastructure is that the RFID tag may be used, not only to identify the item, but also for the purpose of securing the item. As every item owned by the RFID equipped libraries will carry an RFID tag, every item falls under the protection of the RFID security system. With the tag based security methodology in place, detection systems may be installed at any service point where increased item security is required or justified. When reduced loss rates are combined with the regular stock take capabilities of RFID, this translates to improved access to library material for all users and cost savings associated with replacement items. OH&S One of the desirable outcomes to flow from the reconfiguration of a library’s circulation service toward a more user-facilitated model is that repetitive materials handling tasks are greatly reduced. Unley Library Service issues nearly half a million physical library items during the course of a year and library service staff handles most of these loans individually. When loan activities are automated using RFID self-service, not only is there a significant saving of staff time, but also an enormous reduction in manual handling of materials. In the self-service context, library users may select, issue, and remove library materials without requiring any physical assistance from the staff. Benefits may also be realised at the point of returns where streamlined processes can potentially be implemented.