RFID and Automation Roadmap

Webpage Banner - RFID Final

Step One: The BCPL Implements New RFID Technology
The Blount County Public Library is excited about the upcoming installation of its new RFID system which involves tagging more than 198,000 books, DVDs, CDs, and other items. RFID systems are widely used at libraries across the country, and will drastically speed up the checkout and check-in processes and put our staff back in front of our valued patrons.

What does RFID mean?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification system and means that BCPL items will be tagged with a special RFID tag that communicates with security gates, SelfCheck stations, and RFID readers, allowing for the scanning of multiple items at one time.

What does this mean to you? 

From March 20 to the 26th, the BCPL will be CLOSED to the public, BUT these services will still be available:

  • The Internet can be accessed via the SkyFi Tables and from the parking lot
  • Up to 3 items can be placed on reserve, at no charge, and available through curbside service
  • Curbside Pickup will be available Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm
  • We will still be available to answer questions via the phone, Monday through Friday 9 to 5:30 pm
  • The book return will be open Monday through Friday; Closed Saturday and Sunday during this week

Once we open back up, it means:

  • You will start to see a reduction in the time it takes getting items checked in and off your account, which translates to getting the item back on the shelf for the next patron
  • This stage of RFID will introduce the addition of New Security Gates and Visitor Counter

BCPL Director, Manny Leite says, “RFID serves as an innovative technology that will make patron transactions easy, swift, and convenient. Looking ahead, RFID will be beneficial to Blount County Public Library in identifying new services for our patrons and community.”

SelfCheck Stations


Step Two:  BCPL rolls out three SelfCheck Stations

In July, we will be putting out three Desktop SelfCheck Stations.  These stations will allow patrons to handle their check-outs if they desire.  This technology will not replace any library staff.  Traditional checkout with a library staff member will be available.  These SelfChecks will help the BCPL redistribute staff time and focus.  Our goal is to put our staff in front of our patrons and meet their information needs.

We are not rolling these out immediately as we want to fine-tune our in-house processes, ensuring a seamless patron experience under these new processes.

How they work: 

  • Scan your card or the library card on the BCPL App
  • Place 5-10 items on the scanner at once.  They are checked out in seconds!
  • Select the receipt option and you are complete!

Step Three:  BCPL Automation

Automation is the final step.  This part of the project is on hold until the assessment of our Book Return and Sorting Room is complete. Once we have this information we will be able to plan the timeline for the implementation of the Automation System.

Thank you to the Foundation for the Blount County Public Library for making this possible.