A very low response from the USA this year, but a better one from Canada so I have combined the responses from both countries to produce a view of the North American market as a whole.
A total of 24 organisations responded 18 from the USA and 6 from Canada. In both countries the public sector appears to have invested most heavily in RFID (100% in Canada). The ‘Other academic’ category comprised 3 community colleges and 1 research institution.
Circulation and theft prevention tied for the most popular use of RFID at 23 each. Both collection management (13), and automated materials handling (12) were more popular than in previous surveys, AMH significantly higher than in either of the other international markets examined so far. Each of the bottom four applications listed here represents only one library – relatively lower than in the other markets examined.
North American users appear to be much better informed about the frequencies they use in their library RFID solutions. Only 1 library claimed to be using UHF supplied by a company that does not supply this option. The rest either identified HF as their chosen frequency or did not answer the question.
Dependence on SIP in North America is the highest of all the markets analysed. Only one library was not using SIP – 4 used both SIP and APIs. The most common use of APIs appears to be in conjunction with Automated Materials Handling (AMH). This is an area of library activity that in the USA in particular appears to be more open to competition than elsewhere with several respondents indicating that they had purchase an AMH solution from a different supplier to that which supplied their other RFID applications.
A very similar pattern to the UK and again completely different to Australia and New Zealand Bibliotheca+3M dominate the North American market. (All the Canadian libraries that replied were their clients except one that declined to give a name).
The list of ILS/RFID partnerships is as follows,
|Innovative Interfaces & Bibliotheca+3M||5|
|SirsiDynix & Bibliotheca+3M||4|
|Ex Libris & Bibliotheca+3M||2|
|Polaris & Bibliotheca+3M||2|
|Evergreen & Bibliotheca+3M||1|
|Polaris & Envisionware||1|
|Polaris & Techlogic||1|
|SirsiDynix & Checkpoint||1|
|SirsiDynix & Sentry||1|
|SirsiDynix & Techlogic||1|
|TLC & Techlogic||1|
Supplier satisfaction tables for each of the nine areas assessed follow below,
I asked respondents if they wished to make any additional comments about supplier performance. There were a few (5) concerns expressed about the changes at Bibliotheca+3M – about the same percentage as in the UK. I’ve omitted those from those from this very short list,
- We’ve ended up developing local expertise for our sorting system, and call (our supplier) much less frequently.
- Ordering RFID tags takes forever! Communication is terrible. Wrong send to name, shipped to wrong address, no response, etc.
Only one (Canadian) library indicated that their members had access to NFC applications that interacted directly with library stock, which allowed them to discover related items. Four used self-service kiosks for operations other than circulation, one for booking library assets and two for catalogue enquiries, the remaining one did not say what else they did. No libraries used library kiosks for non-library purposes.
Finally, respondents were asked to share any additional thoughts they might have about the survey or RFID in general. There was only one reply – from Canada,
- I would like to see smartphone apps that will check out library materials and disarm the security to cut down on the need for self check out stations, etc.