Silly Library

Thursday 1st October 2009

While I had my year out, the engineering library at uni was done up. It’s very nice, and one thing they’ve introduced is a self-service thing, for borrowing and returning books. All the books have RFID tags, so you put them on a shelf and it identifies them. You swipe your uni card to id yourself, and all is done. Snazzy.

The thing I don’t get though is that the thing reads a barcode on the card, and like all barcodes it can take a few attempts. Our uni id cards (which double as library cards) have RFID, so why use the barcode, especially as the thing has an RFID reader anyway? Seems daft.

But I’m nitpicking, it’s a fairly good use of technology.

Posted at 3:05 pm | Posted In: EngineeringRantTechnology Tagged:



Friday 2nd October 2009, 8:55 am

I see RFID and I think RNIB, even though they only have two letters the same so in a game of cows and bulls I would not do very well. But that sounds cool, whatever it is, I think my uni has a similar system, maybe.


Friday 2nd October 2009, 6:07 pm

That is pretty fancy.

Our library too also inexplicably requires a barcode to get in, although it scans barcodes in books to identify them, so it’s not totally weird that the same system goes for identifying us too.


Wednesday 7th October 2009, 8:22 pm

Ironically, our library requires you you scan a barcode on the book and then uses RFID to identify our student cards. Strange…


Thursday 8th October 2009, 4:31 pm

That actually kinda makes sense; I’d guess it costs less to barcode a bunch of books than it does to RFID them.

(Flix: RFID = Radio-Frequency Identification. It’s the same thing that makes Oyster cards so awesome)


Friday 9th October 2009, 9:43 am

I will stand up now and admit that i ahve never actually borrowed a book from our library. But then I tend to work better in the library anyway.


Friday 9th October 2009, 7:24 pm

@Jenny: I didn’t borrow a book until third term of my second year. I barely even entered the building in my first, and I didn’t start to work there properly ’til my third…

On topic: We have fancy new printers that I wasn’t quite sure how to work as it all looked too high-tech for me, but turns out you send your print job from a computer, and swipe your card to any networked printer in the vicinity and it’ll print it out. It’s fab because means if you’re needing to print a lot of stuff off intermittently or from different places, you don’t have to keep going back and forth and can print it all out in one lot. Plus it does it double-sided. Eco-printing ftw!

Also, when I first read this, I thought you meant you just put the book back on any shelf in the library and it identified you and the book and I imagined you were living in some sci-fi harry potter type library. Then I realised you meant a specific shelf just for returning books, which isn’t as much fun, but probably makes more sense.


Friday 9th October 2009, 10:30 pm

I managed to crash an entire computer room on my first day of PGCE course. I totally win.

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