RFID Frequently Asked Questions

What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID technology is used in many places where large volumes of information need to be organised efficiently, including hospitals, airlines, and increasingly implemented in libraries across the globe.


How does it work?


An RFID tag containing a microchip is attached to an item. A scanner reads the RFID tag using a shortwave radio signal to activate the microchip in the tag. This microchip contains details about the book or item that can be used to issue and return. Scanner pads have the ability to scan multiple items at once so books can be piled up and issued simultaneously. It’s a very simple and efficient process for our library members.


How is Monash Public Library Service (MPLS) using RFID?


All items that can be borrowed will have an RFID tag. The tags allow quick and a more effective means of issuing and returning items than using the traditional barcode reading technology. All RFID equipment used in Monash Public Library Service is compliant with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency requirements.


What are the advantages of RFID?

  • Convenience - our upgraded Self Service will allow for multiple items to be read at once for quicker library transactions. RFID provides an improved user-friendly experience for both staff and library members.
  • Efficiency - RFID technology provides more accurate and efficient circulation processes which allows staff more time to spend helping our library members and deliver more library programs and workshops.
  • Security - RFID technology provides a more robust and tighter security measure for our library collections.


Will there be fewer staff to help me?

No. MPLS has always maintained an effective balance between self service and staff assistance at all of our branches and will continue to do so into the future. RFID is a quicker and more accurate process for our staff as well as for our library members.



No change. MPLS has always and will continue to safeguard the privacy of all library membership records and the normal data protection precautions will remain unchanged. No personal details are stored or recorded on the RFID tags. RFID tags are required to be read by equipment no further than 20-30cm. It is not possible to scan items across a room to read what a person has borrowed.