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Indian Journal of Library and Information Science

Volume  2, Issue 3, September-December 2008, Pages 139-148



Emerging Technologies for Libraries: RFID & Biometric Smart Cards
Ajay Sharma
Chief Librarian, Institute of Management Studies, Dehraun – 248001
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Emergence of computer technologies has increased information storage capacity beyond imagination in the past decade and made it possible to access information from any part of the world easily and quickly. All this has increased the use of digital technology in all walks of life, personal and professional both. Library, being an integral and critical component of a civilized world has witnessed increasingly interesting applications of these digital technologies. Digital libraries are not single, stand-alone, repositories of digital data instead they are a heterogeneous collection of network-based repositories using a variety of protocols for user interaction, data encoding and transmission. Digital library is a logical extension of the networked environment and the development triggered therefore and provides the users with coherent access to a very rare, organized repository of information and knowledge. Through digital technology it is advantageous to access and search the information faster. There is also saving in storage space as the digital resources are compact compared to print format. Further the sharing of information helps to reduce the cost. Digital libraries can be accessed by all sections of the community over the whole world through the internet.  
Smart cards are capable of storing biometrics template in the card memory itself along with other information hence template may not be stored on the central database. Also access to central database is not necessary to verify the identity. This unique advantage with this powerful combination has attracted government organization worldwide to use it as main identification card for employees, citizens and services. A Biometric - smart card protects biometric data and provides a reliable solution where there are privacy concerns. Fingerprints are an ideal credential for logical access control to computer networks and fingerprint templates never leave a smart card unprotected. Integrating a biometric sensor into a smart card reader makes sense because it is more convenient to combine a smart card reader with a fingerprint scanner in one integrated device.
This paper is an attempt to study the impact of digitization of technologies over Library management. The paper studies two prominent technologies for library management in vogue these days, viz., RFID and Smart Card-biometrics. The context, application, cost-benefit analysis, components and limitations for these libraries are also presented.
Key Words RFID System, Smart Card, MCU, MOC, PIN.

Corresponding Author : Ajay Sharma