Tagging Your Collection
By Gretchen Freeman / June 25, 2015 / Categories: #RFID

Applying RFID tags to your collection doesn’t need to be an insurmountable task if you pair the right method with the right circumstances. Start by answering a few simple questions.

  • Can you close the library for tagging—either for a short “blitz” or until tagging is completed?
  • If you can’t close the library, will you use existing staff, temporary staff or volunteers to tag? Or have tagging provided as a professional service by Tech Logic?
  • Are you moving the collection into a new space or building?
  • Is there space behind the scenes to handle A/V materials away from the shelves or bins?

With every method, be sure that returned materials are tagged before they are re-shelved into tagged sections of the library.

If the library can close then tagging becomes an “all hands on deck” priority to tag as many materials as possible. Two-person teams use a portable tagging station in the stacks to efficiently handle and tag each item on the shelf. One person removes items and inserts tags; the second person writes the barcode to the tag. Plan on 200-400 items tagged per hour with this method.

If the library remains open, use a portable tagging station in the stacks (preferably before or after the library is open) or take sections of materials to a tagging center. A/V materials are best handled behind the scenes because of the special handling needed to apply tags to CDs, DVDs, and boxed sets.

If temporary staff or volunteers are available, the library may be open or closed—and tagging can be accomplished at the shelves or behind the scenes. Be sure your tagging teams understand the repetitive, physical nature of this work and can follow instructions carefully.

If the entire collection will be boxed or unboxed for a move then the best method will be an “assembly line” to pass materials down a line for tagging. This is the most efficient tagging method with six workers tagging 8,000 or more items per day. As a bonus, read the materials with an antenna to check them in—and you’ll have a complete inventory of the newly tagged collection!

Tech Logic’s professional implementation team can guide your choice of tagging methods to insure the best results.