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I think barcode is simple to forge.

I just talked with Karen who explains that when a library card does not have the chip, the user places the library card in the machine, which scans the barcode and attaches the barcode number (i.e. the patron ID) to the books' RFID tags in the library's circulation database.

Hi Karen - could you explain to blog readers how an RFID reader could pick up a barcode on a library card that doesn't have an RFID chip? Thanks - Mary (and see you on Wednesday!)

RFID in the library cards themselves is not needed for self-checkout. As a matter of fact, when I visited every RFID system vendor at the ALA exhibits at the recent meeting, not one of them was proposing a system with RFID tags in the library cards themselves. Instead, the systems read the barcode off of the patron card, which is actually easier, technically, than reading the barcode off of the books themselves. I assume that vendors aren't designing systems for RFID'd library cards because the latter are expensive, and most libraries are already using cards with barcodes. Merced is starting anew, so they may be able to justify the cost of the cards. Note that the cards at Merced are not just library cards but the students' ID cards, that will be used for a variety of functions.

OK, so practical bits aside, it is very common in the state of California to pass laws that pertain to everyone in the state EXCEPT state agencies. It's an example of untramelled self-interest, and it undermines the whole idea of law-making. Sheeeesh!


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