Mapúa launches first UHF-RFID library system

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Mapúa Institute of Technology inaugurates its new Ultra-High-Frequency Radio Frequency Identification (UHF RFID) Library Solution to enhance its library processes. In the photo during the ribbon-cutting ceremony are: (L-R) Veronica M. Jose, Mapúa chief librarian; Emerald L. Lansangan, Mapúa chief knowledge officer; Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Mapúa president and chief executive officer; Minister Samson T.L. Chang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO); Ruth C. Francisco, Mapúa executive vice president for finance and administration; Alex Choo, director, Claridy Solutions, Inc.

Mapúa Institute of Technology recently inaugurated its new Ultra-High-Frequency Radio Frequency Identification (UHF RFID) Library Solution, the first in the country, which is expected to significantly enhance its library processes to better serve its faculty and students.

“The objectives here are to improve the workflow processes in our libraries, to solve inventory problems, and for us to be able to give more attention to our patron’s needs,” said Emerald L. Lansangan, Mapúa’s chief knowledge officer.

Taiwanese company Claridy Solutions, Inc., the Institute’s partner and service provider for the new library system, says that Mapúa is the first school in the country to use the system.

“A lot of schools in the Philippines have been using RFID systems at high frequency band, but the current trend is moving toward UHF RFID. Mapúa is the first Philippine school to employ the technology,” said Alex Choo, director of Claridy Solutions, Inc.

Choo added that the key component of the system is the RFID tags that are very thin and carefully concealed in the books. With these tags, all the library books can be used with any of the following equipment in the system: portable inventory reader, self-service library check-out station, self-return station or book drop, and the security gate. The Institute’s existing ID system has also been integrated in the UHF RFID solution to allow easy check-out of books.

A librarian demonstrates how to use the Self-Service Library Check-out Station, where students can check out books themselves.

Among the library processes that will benefit from the UHF RFID solution are the circulation services, inventory, and security system. The solution can provide real-time statistics of both Intramuros and Makati libraries’ patron visits and can generate inventory reports instantly.

“This UHF-RFID system is very efficient and a logical move for us because we are a technological school,” said Lansangan. “Apart from making our processes here efficient, this is also to keep up with the technology employed in the US and in the neighboring countries like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.”

Choo added: “Mapúa is very keen on exploring new technologies. When we introduced this new technology, we got a good response from the Institute and the people were willing to try this new approach to conducting its library process.”

As the UHF RFID solution will streamline library workflow, the patrons can expect a significant improvement in customer service.

“Faculty members and students can now expect faster and shorter queues in borrowing and returning library materials. With the UHF RFID system, librarians are free to focus on assisting our students with their research queries,” Lansangan said.

Mapúa also launched the UHF RFID Library Solution in partnership with American Technologies, Inc. Soon, the Institute will be launching the UHF RFID Library Solution in its Makati City campus.