At the library of Lakshmibai College, an RFID system to verify theft

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To prevent theft and keep track of books borrowed by students, Delhi University’s Lakshmibai

The College decided to introduce a radio frequency identification (RFID) system in the central library for the automation of the library system. Approximately 80,000 books will be RFID tagged within this framework.

Currently, at DU, Ramjas College and Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women have automated library systems.

According to college authorities, every year about 1,000 books disappear from the library. “Sometimes students receive the books and never return them. While some students are content to take the books without even registering them at the library reception. The RFID system will help the college to track

books that were distributed to students,” college principal Pratyusha Vatsala said.

“We’ve been planning this for so long, but it’s been delayed due to Covid and other reasons. Next door, the colleges were closed (due to the pandemic). Now that the physical lessons have started and the students are arriving, we have decided to introduce the system. We awarded the project to the Public Works Department of Delhi (PWD). Tenders have been launched and the library will be automated over the next month,” she added.

Apart from book tagging, the library door will also be RFID tagged like those in shopping malls. For example, if a student takes books without permission and tries to leave the premises, an alarm will go off at the exit door. The tag can also be used to check if students have damaged the books.

“It will also help to maintain a database and physically verify each book with its entry in the Koha (library) software. It will also help identify books with errors and make necessary corrections, and improve the accuracy of the database. It will also reduce the workload of library staff,” a PWD official said.

Other library items and shelves will also be RFID tagged and integrated with computer records. Books will be labeled with paper labels and stickers.

“The RFID chip used in the tag will be designed specifically for library use, i.e. it will have three sections – a lockable section for item identification, a re-writable section for library-specific and a security feature (EAS) for item anti-theft (which can be turned on and off). The chip will also have a multi-read feature, which means multiple tags can be read at the same time” , added the official.

In addition, automated RFID technology kiosks will also be installed in the library where students can issue and return the books themselves.

Once the system is in place, students will also receive RFID-chip library cards, officials said.

The PWD has launched tenders for the implementation of the RFID technology system and the approximate budget for this project is Rs 32.84 lakh. The system will be implemented at the end of March.

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