East Brunswick Library switches to new check out system


EAST BRUNSWICK — Barcodes have been used to store data since the early 1950s, and the East Brunswick Public Library has used barcodes to track the circulation of library items for decades.

This fall, the library will switch to a radio frequency identification (RFID) system, allowing the library to improve the circulation process and customer service.

To accommodate for this new system, the library processed its entire collection of nearly 170,000 print and media items with new RFID tags. The information stored on these tags is used instead of barcodes to both identify and track the circulation of items at the library, according to information provided by the library.

“East Brunswick Public Library is constantly looking at ways to improve the service and user experience of our library,” Library Director Jennifer Podolsky said in the statement. “The switchover to a RFID system is the biggest change to our circulation procedure in well over 30 years.”

The library’s new RFID system is much speedier, letting library users check out a stack of books, CDs and DVDs without having to scan each item individually. After scanning their library card, a user can check out all their items simultaneously.

Library items are still checked out at the library’s Circulation Desk and Check-Out stations. To better serve younger library customers and their families, an additional Check-Out station was installed in the Children’s Room.

The same process also speeds up the check in process when library items are returned, allowing materials to recirculate much quicker.

“Our new RFID system is much more efficient,” Melissa Kuzma, assistant director, said in the statement. “It makes the circulation process much easier, whether it is a customer using a check out or a staff member checking in returns from the book drop.”