Mangaluru, Mar 4: St Agnes College becomes the first college under Mangaluru University to RFID tag over 62,000 books, many including rare, century-old book collections including Sanskrit, philosophy, literature, biography, ethics; books and topics covering home science and religious books.
The new Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag will replace the old barcoding system at St Agnes College Library and Information Centre.
According to Dr Vishala BK, selection grade librarian at St Agnes College (Autonomous) Mangaluru the technological up-gradation will not only enhance the security of the books but also ensure quicker issuance and send timely reminders for patrons to return the books. “We hope the new system will enable us to ensure that the books are timely returned and available so that larger audiences can access it,” she said.
Under the RFID technology, the librarians need not make any manual entry of the books issued or returned. The scanner will read the RFID tag on the book and will automate the data transfers into the library computer. “In a fraction of a second, the scanner will recognize - the book title, edition, title, author, book number, issuers name and number, issued date, due date, and the borrower's name and credentials, total number all the other credentials are also documented and electronically stored,” Vishala said.
According to staff, the library has installed an ‘Access Control System’ at its entry/exit. Akin to a shopping mall, in case of book-lifting or book theft the detectors will instantly sound alert to the library authorities and security. This is to avoid theft and other occurrences.
In 2007, St Agnes College library introduced barcoding technology. “But since barcoding does not monitor and trace the books, with support of our patrons we have upgraded it with RFID technology for enhanced security of the library’s collection,” Sr Carmel Rita AC, the administrator of the College said.
According to the college authorities, voracious reader and college donor Max Rasquinha was instrumental in planning the library's modernization project along with the librarian Dr Vishala BK.
The collection at St Agnes College library is over a century old. Until recently, the library was housed in the old block.
Under the guidance of the former Principal Sr Dr Jeswina AC, the mammoth task of shifting the library to the new ‘Mother Mary Aloysia Centenary Block’ was initiated and completed in June 2020. At the new block, the books are stored in a larger space and have a better environment to engage with the readings. The new library also has state-of-the-art facilities and sections like circulation, stack, acquisition, learning resource centre, reference/research hub, rare collection, college magazines, donated books, photocopy, server room.
Spread over 14,800 Sq ft area. Besides, 62,058 books (excluding those preserved for the restoration of wear and tear) the library houses 37 journals and 40 periodicals in printed format and 18,300+ journals in electronic format.
The library also subscribes to J-Gate: Social science database from Informatics India, Bangalore which covers 7 million+ articles indexed from 12,000 journals.
Besides under the project entitled 'National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content', being jointly executed by the ShodhSindhu Consortium, INFLIBNET Centre and the INDEST-AICTE Consortium, IIT Delhi provides access to 6293 e-journals, ebooks -1,59,509 and also thousands of ebooks from South Asia archive and world ebook library covered under National Digital Library, Kharagpur.
According to Sr Dr M Venissa AC, principal of St Agnes College (Autonomous), the RFID technology will definitely improve the library’s staff performance and efficiency. “They can now invest more time on guiding students on selecting books, authors, and academically instead of focusing on the physical security of the books,” she said.
Further, she also added that the RFID technology will definitely enhance the security of our treasure of books, also fulfil the techno-enabled library as per the NAAC requirements and New Educational Policy.
The college places on record its appreciation of the enlightened and far-sighted modern vision of respected donor Max Rasquinha who was instrumental in planning this modern system along with the librarian Dr Vishala B K, spending his time generously to discuss and finalise the project.