The expansion of the Crandall Public Library will offer patrons more than additional space. The expanded library will also include radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The system will include RFID-activated security pedestals, wand-based inventory and an automated materials handling system for sorting returned books, CDs, DVDs and other items.
"The planning process for expanding our space prompted us to want to do business in a new way," said Christine McDonald, director of the Crandall Public Library. "I have been looking at RFID for the past 15 years, and it seems at this point that the technology has come a long way, making it more feasible to implement without being a 'test' library."
Crandall Public Library, in New York, is the central reference library of the Southern Adirondack Library System, which serves Warren, Washington, Saratoga and Hamilton Counties. The library is in the process of renovating a historic 1930s Beaux Arts building and creating additional space for a total of 52,000 square feet. Currently operating in a temporary space in a YMCA building, the library plans to reopen in the renovated building in late November 2008. Since the library's last expansion in 1969, the population of the service area has increased by 30 percent and library services have grown by 45 percent.
"Patrons will really benefit from the RFID implementation," said Bill Schickling, president and CEO of Polaris Library Systems, the company that provided the software that enables the planned system. "Leveraging RFID technology for automated materials handling means that popular materials can circulate quicker, and the patron self-service kiosks will increase efficiencies during check out."