Our RFID system is a bit of Hell in a small package. When it works properly, which just lately has been less and less often, it acts like an automated kiosk combined with a robotic guard dog.
The gates guard the entrance to the library; they are connected to the internet with an Ethernet cable. Matching gate tracking software supplied by the vendor and installed on our circ PC tracks comings and goings. If a bo0ok is properly checked out via the circ computers, the gate reads an active tag and doesn’t go off. If the tag was improperly scanned or something similar, it reads an inactive tag and goes off.
This is standard stuff. Or, it should be.
Two weeks ago, the gates started sounding and nothing would make them stop. We pulled out the plug and the gates stopped, but when we plugged them back in five minutes later, they refused to go off for any reason.
E-mails were written, phone calls were made. A new gate part was sent over. A tech guy was sent over this morning to install it. I’ve worked with the vendor’s tech staff for three years and they know their stuff.
But Gate Guy doesn’t work for the gate vendor–he’s a subcontractor. So now that he’s here, he needs to get instructions from the vendor. That takes three phone calls, the draining of his cell phone battery and finally, a conversation with the guy at the vendor I generally talk to for gate related issues anyway. Finally, this is lower Manhattan and Gate Guy has the equipment truck with him, but his parking spot runs out at noon and he needs to find another one.
Finally, Gate Guy has found out that the part the vendor sent over as a replacement is not the same part which is inside the gate.
I’ll let you know.
Better news. The gates now have limited functionality, in that they can see (by way of the gate tracker software) tagged objects nearby, but still can’t sound the alarm. That means another visit by another Gate Guy . . . kill me. Please.