NISO announces the availability of “RFID in U.S. Libraries”

The National Information Standards Organization has announced the availability of “RFID in U.S. Libraries” (NISO RP-6-2012), a revision of the

2008 Recommended Practice that provides a set of practices and procedures to ensure interoperability among U.S. RFID implementations in libraries. By following these recommendations, libraries can ensure that an RFID tag in one library can be used seamlessly by another, assuming both comply, even if they have different suppliers for tags, hardware, and software.

Since the publication of the original Recommended Practice, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published in 2011 a three-part international standard on “RFID in Libraries” (ISO 28560) defining the data model and the encoding of data on RFID tags for item management in libraries. The revised NISO Recommended Practice has been updated to reflect changes in technology and security and privacy measures, and to serve as a U.S. profile for the ISO standard.

“The international standard offers two different encoding options and many optional data elements, so it is critical that U.S. implementers adopt a common approach for implementing the ISO standard,” explains Paul Sevcik, Lead Product Development Specialist at 3M Library Systems and co-chair of the NISO RFID Revision Working Group. “RFID in U.S. Libraries recommends a common subset of the data elements to be placed on library tags in the U.S., as well as selecting the preferred encoding and formatting of that data.”

“Adoption of this Recommended Practice will ensure that U.S. libraries can procure tags and equipment from different vendors, merge collections containing different manufacturers’ tags, and, for the purposes of interlibrary loan, read the tags on items belonging to other libraries,”  states Vinod Chachra, CEO of VTLS, Inc. and co-chair of the NISO RFID Revision Working Group. “Standardization will allow the RFID tag to be used in the entire lifecycle of physical library materials, including the upstream processes of acquisition and distribution.”

“This revision included input from RFID hardware manufacturers, solution providers, content distributors, and libraries,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO Managing Director. “Libraries that have been holding back on implementation now have the standard approach they need to protect their investments in RFID.”

The Recommended Practice is available for free download from the NISO website at: Libraries, publishers, distributors, system providers, and tag manufacturers are all encouraged to review and adopt the recommendations.

Cynthia Hodgson
Technical Editor / Consultant
National Information Standards Organization


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