April 20, 2018

Security Solutions | Product Spotlight

Library security systems are described as “non-glamourous work-horses” on Bibliotheca’s website. It’s true that the core function—to deter theft and prevent materials that haven’t been properly checked out from accidentally walking out of the library—hasn’t changed much since 3M launched its Tattle Tape electromagnetic (EM) security system in the 1970s.

However, many of the latest systems feature new functionality enhanced by RFID tags, along with sleek, unobtrusive design that gives public entryways a modern appearance.

Product: 3M Detection Systems
Company: 3M


3M has manufactured security products for libraries for more than 40 years, starting with EM technology and continuing through today’s radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems. 3M’s public relations representative, Sara Mahan, says the company continues to develop new solutions to meet libraries’ needs in protecting materials. In fact, she says, the company even offers an “80 percent Loss Reduction Guarantee” to users of its systems.

3M currently has a variety of security solutions for a range of library budgets, including RFID-activated gates, as well as systems that use EM strips and basic radio-frequency (RF) tags. Each presents a variety of mounting options—direct mount, base plate, or buried cable—and audible and visual alarms. The 3M RFID Detection System 9100 series provides an alarm log, traffic pattern reports, and configurable alarm settings. 3M Tattle Tape Security Strips and 3M RFID Tags are guaranteed to be defect-free and carry a lifetime warranty if adhered to library materials within two years of manufacture. Both the tags and the strips integrate with 3M Detection Systems, and 3M’s technical service makes available 24-7 phone support and a nationwide fleet for local service. Local representatives carry critical parts to minimize downtime.

Product: smartgate
Company: Bibliotheca


Bibliotheca’s systems feature a range of options that support the latest in long-range RFID as well as traditional EM technologies. All of its RFID products are supported by Bibliotheca’s smartgate manager software, giving libraries instant information about items causing alerts and logs of previous ­transactions.

Bibliotheca’s Meghan Davis says the brand new smartgate 600 will be available in January 2015.

“It has a similar modern and stylish design as our smartgate 400 but will feature expanded width detection. Our extended width gates can be placed farther apart without compromising tag detection—up to a distance of 63″—increasing accessibility for patrons with wheelchairs and parents with young children and strollers.”

Each gate is also fitted with a people-counter sensor connected to the smartgate manager so staff can monitor the number of patrons. Accessible via Bibliotheca’s smartadmin web application, that information can be used to analyze how many patrons use the library during a specified time period. When the security alarm is triggered, the smartgate 600 will alert staff both visually with red LEDs illuminating the pedestal and audibly in the form of a buzzer.

Bibliotheca’s ultrathin, double-sided EM strips can be applied between pages of books and have tails on both sides of the strip for easy application into a book’s gutter, making them virtually undetectable. The silicon-based EM smartlabel products have a life span of up to 20 years and, unlike other systems, can be both activated and deactivated.

Product: Tech Logic Security Gates
Company: Tech Logic


Tech Logic manufactures RFID security pedestal gates that can be installed in entrances, exits, corridors, and staircases and are designed to integrate with modern architecture. The firm’s clear pedestal gate emphasizes aesthetics with its sleek profile and high-quality Plexiglas panels, allowing the gate to blend in with its surroundings.

Tech Logic president Gary Kirk says that while most RFID gates can only be set 36 inches apart for optimum sensing, the PG50 can be spaced as far as 63 inches apart. A typical set of Tech Logic pedestals can read up to 50 books per second and count all patron traffic, both inbound and outbound, including children.

“We also offer an optional ‘quick release’ mounting plate so our customers can temporarily remove the gates to bring large items through the main doors of the building. All other gates are permanently mounted and require significant effort and labor to remove and replace them.”

Product: RFIQ
Company: D-Tech


Not sure if your library is ready to make the switch to RFID? D-Tech’s RFIQ System provides perimeter-based library material protection while laying a migration path for full RFID capability. Where traditional EM or RF security systems are inappropriate, RFIQ intends to fill the gap.

“The most exciting new product for book security is the D-Tech RFIQ Library Material Security System,” says D-Tech’s Emmett Irwin. “This system allows libraries to transition from a basic book security system, whether it’s the old EM or RF technology, to a full RFID security system that meets all of the NISO standards for RFID in U.S. Libraries.”

The D-Tech RFIQ security gates and tags allow a library to invest in more up-to-date technology affordably and promise very high detection and no false alarms. D-Tech’s RFIQ tags cost less than EM strips or RF book tags yet are fully compatible with RFID when you’re ready to expand to all the benefits RFID offers. Ongoing costs are lower, too.

The RFIQ Security Antennas can be packaged in a Plexiglas frame with a durable stainless steel base, or in metal looped antennas with a colored metal base. The RFIQ antenna system provides a visual deterrent with an unintrusive design.

Product: MasterSeries Ultra-Transparent Gate Systems
Company: EnvisionWare


Designed as a component of Envisionware’s suite of RFID self-check, circulation, and security solutions, the MasterSeries Ultra Transparent Gate Systems are made with contemporary advanced acrylic blends, resulting in “a modern design that complements every décor,” according to a company ­description.

The gates feature an authentic 3-D antenna design to detect RFID tags in every orientation as tags pass through the gates. The gates produce audible and visual alerts, and when used in conjunction with EnvisionWare Branch Manager software, they will transmit instant screen alerts to staff, including the item ID, media type, gate location, and item title.

Denice Rovira Hazlett (denicehazlett.com; @charmgirl on Twitter) is a feature, profile, and fiction writer and a Reference Associate at Holmes County District Public Library, Millersburg, OH

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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  1. V S Gadagi says:

    This article is very useful, thanks