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RFID in Libraries

EDItEUR is active in the development of the ISO standard 28560 for RFID in Libraries, sponsoring one of the editors of the three-part standard and arguing for a flexible approach that mandates a minimum of data (e.g. unique accession number and library identifier) whilst at the same allowing for further optional elements to be coded if required by libraries.

This is a significant and innovative development from existing proprietary and national standards that either encode a single piece of information or require fixed message structures.

For further information on the progress of the ISO standard see:

EU RFID Consultation Document
The European Commission is taking some formal action with respect to RFID applications, based on data protection and privacy concerns. There is a serious risk that this could result in legislation that could affect the use of RFID in libraries. An initial review of the consultation document indicates that there is a bias towards a level of security and privacy that is currently not possible to implement in RFID for libraries. Given the success of RFID in libraries and the acceptance by the general public and university students, we feel that a robust response needs to be made to this public consultation document. Some of the key features that are considered to be not properly addressed are the fact that RFID tags used in libraries are re-used time and time again, whereas there is significant focus in the document on RFID tags being used once (as in a retail sales transaction). This has led to an over-emphasis on features like killing the tag and others that would give concern to the library community. BIC and EDItEUR have therefore jointly commissioned RFID consultant Paul Chartier to provide a summary of the processes, documents and suggested responses to the consultation paper that has been produced by the European standards bodies.

The public consultation period on this consultation paper closes on 15 September 2010 so comments need to be emailed to EDItEUR ( by Monday 6 September to allow for collation. To assist with this process, a first draft set of responses has been produced, but as stakeholders, you are welcome to add to or modify some of these comments.  N.B.  Responses will be aggregated as an EDItEUR response on behalf of the library community and, therefore, anonymous.

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