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Helmet libraries now use RFID

The Helmet libraries started using RFID (radio frequency identification) for check-outs and collection management in autumn 2017. RFID technology enables libraries to develop their services and processes in a more versatile way than before. Compared to barcodes that must be scanned one at a time, RFID makes it possible to handle larger amounts of materials at once.

How does RFID work?

Each book is equipped with an RFID tag. The tag includes a microchip that contains the book’s basic information and a small antenna. When the antenna is near a scanner, it transmits and receives a very low-frequency radio signal. Such scanners are for example found in check-out and return stations. Some libraries also have alarm gates that contain RFID scanners.

RFID and health

RFID technology is regulated by standards set by health authorities. They define the power output and frequencies allowed for RFID devices.

Checking out materials using RFID self-service kiosks

When you check out materials, scan the barcode of your library card as before. However, you no longer need to scan the barcodes of library materials. Instead, simply place one book at a time on the scanning table and the RFID scanner will automatically scan them. The scanned information is shown on the screen.


Ellen Karhulampi, Library Service Manager, Espoo City Library
Marjut Saloniemi, Communications Coordinator, Espoo City Library