Sports Trends

In these days, sports events are not only entertainment activities, but also are great money-spinning businesses. Undoubtedly, sports and sports events can yield huge amounts of earnings and profits for both the players and the organizers. Actually, nowadays, you can earn money even by watching your favorite sports event or game and predicting on its outcome. For this, all you have to know is certain underlying information about recent sports trends, sports statistics, weather, and latest condition of the players and teams.

We all know that there are some professional sports players, especially the football, basketball, tennis and polo players, who earn millions of dollars a year. Moreover, there are many businesses that revolve around sports and a majority of them are multi-million dollar industries and are highly profitable. Sports’ betting is one such associated business.

Sports’ betting refers to the system of placing a bet on the final outcome of a sports event or game. This is now a very lucrative business and there are lots of people who consider online sports betting as their main profession and make huge amounts of money from sports betting. One of the advantages of sports betting is that it can be done by anyone and everyone who knows a few basic facts about the game, details about the team and players, and latest sports trends.

Sports’ betting is widely prevalent in many popular sports, such as soccer, rugby, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, cricket, softball tennis, motorcar racing, and horse racing. If you want to earn money by betting on your favorite sports, the first step you need to take is to find a physical or online sports book that allows betting on your chosen sports game. There are several professional sports betting websites where you can participate in betting on various sports like football, basketball, baseball, and rugby. If the goddess of fortune is also on your side, you can definitely earn a lot from sports betting.

However, lady luck will bless you only if you work hard. Before placing a bet on a particular team or player, it is very important that you try to acquire as much information as possible about the game and the team. For instance, if you intend to bet on a football game, you must know and understand the up-to-date football statistics of the each team and the playing condition of each player. The sports trends are another reliable tool to predict the outcome of a sport activity or game. All these data are helpful to recognize the strength and weaknesses of a team and the playing methods and the current playing form if its players.

An essential quality that a successful sports bettor must have is the ability to observe and correctly read the recent sports trends. If you know the recent trends of a team, you can identify whether the team is on a winning or losing streak. It has been seen that many sports bettors have a tendency to place their bets on the player or team that is their favorite. However, identifying the sports trends may help these bettors to avoid making wrong decisions and approach betting with a professional attitude and mindset. Knowing the latest trends of the game can be highly useful to plan strategies and select the team that has the highest winning chances.

The gathering of sports data, including statistics and sports trends, is not an easy job and requires extensive research. Those sports bettors who do not have the time, patience or much knowledge about the sports on which they bet can seek the services of a sports handicapper to provide information on sports statistics, latest trends in the game, weather information, and other useful facts regarding the team and players. The sports handicappers usually have the knowledge and resources to collect and analyze the appropriate data and create a report on the current trends in the sports.

There are several sports handicapping websites that offer football statistics, tips, picks, sports trends, weather conditions, updates on injuries of players, playing history of teams and players, and the predictions on the outcome of a game. You can use the information provided by a Sports Trends to prepare your betting strategies and decide where to place your bet. If you act as per the advice of your handicapper, you can definitely achieve better betting results and make money out of sports betting. Moreover, sports handicapping software programs are available online, which can examine the past trends and performance of teams and provide updated statistics.

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Cultural Extravaganza of Berlin

Beauty lies in every corner of this capital city of Germany- Berlin. Renowned for its long associated history, shopping varieties, gastronomy and vibrant nightlife, this city is one of the favorite holiday destinations for travel freaks.
Germany has always interested people from across the world with its high end lifestyle, open environment, strict yet absolve law rules, antediluvian past and its glimpse via monuments. Whatever are your preferences this leisure trip, Berlin, the capital of Germany is a great place to visit. Its motleyed architecture can be seen in museums, palaces and historical sites. Home to more than 150 museums and 50 theaters, this metropolis tells so much more about its German history. Due to varied style in the architecture of local buildings and edifices, Berlin was awarded the title of ‘the city of Design’ by UNESCO in the year 2005.

As per travelling experts Berlin is a fantasy for people who like travelling and exploring places. Today it is the most loved destination for holidays among the travelers. Said as the world city and an epicenter for culture, politics, media and science in the country, Berlin makes a perfect place to loosen up yourself and flight to Berlin is the best way to reach here. Presence of many parklands, lakes and rivers is the reason of the scenic beauty that this city possesses and one of the main reasons for descenders to plan their leisure trip to this European metropolis.

Places like Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, the Reichstag and the wall victims Memorial are the few spots hither which are world famous and are always on the must visit list of the descenders. Apart from this you can also utilize your time while enjoying the electrifying nightlife culture of Berlin. Vibrant clubs, pubs, restaurants and bars are always open at night and serve the best that one can expect. While Gastronomy here is as diverse as the local culture. You will find the cuisine of every country or state, from Indian to Chinese and Italian to European. Berlin has lot alternatives for shopping sprees. Spend little bit extra and shop at expensive shops, take home some famous designer labels, European antiques or just shop according to your wallet size at the local marketsBusiness Management Articles, but don’t forget to bargain as much as you can. Berlin is always happy to treat its visitors with the best of choices available.

Berlin Property an investment market

Berlin Germany has undervalued real estate and multi nationals are starting to buy property in Berlin. But is it time for the smaller international real estate investor to head for Berlin. This article desribes the compelling evidence that Berlin is the next big thing in Europes housing market
It is a fact that Berlin in Germany has undervalued real estate and with shrewd multi national companies already investing in the city its only a matter of time that others will follow. It is now time for the smaller overseas property investor to examine Berlin’s housing market. Research reveals compelling evidence that Berlins housing market is the next big thing in European city investment.

Berlin real estate offers overseas property investors a great opportunity to benefit from low prices with great potential for capital gains. Berlin’s property prices are still low and represent the lowest prices in any European City. Recently Prudential Real Estate Investors announced that it had acquired the famous Ewerk office situated in the heart of Berlin. The Ewerk, a former transformer station built in 1928, was renovated during 2004 and 2005.

So why is Berlins housing market full of cheap property? A little research into Berlins City history reveals why Berlins property prices dropped and never caught up with other European cities.

The opening of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the reunification of Germany (1990) resulted in a wave of optimism. The expectations for Europe’s largest economy and it’s newly created capital city Berlin were high. The pent-up demand particularly from the East Berliners was immense. The conclusion at the time was that the city required a massive investment and construction programme in all sectors.

The Berlin construction boom of the early nineties coincided with both the reduction in residents and more importantly their purchasing power. This coincided with an increase in unemployment levels. The net result was a fall in the price of property and rental values. Berlin witnessed an increase in the availability of office and residential space without an appropriate increase in demand. Between 1994 and 2004 new property prices fell in Berlin by 30% and rents by 15%.The disposal of large property portfolios by public authorities further undermined price levels.

Property prices in most European countries significantly increased while those in Berlin stagnated or fell. Berlin now represents the most competitively priced property in Europe.

The people of Berlin like to rent property with only 12% of Berliners owning their properties compared with over 20% in Hanover, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. This lack of demand has kept prices low and provides buyers with ample supply of Berlin tenants.

Tourism has increased by 16% in 2004 alone. In excess of 2Free Web Content,000 four and five star hotel rooms have been built in the last 3 years including Ritz-Carlton and Radisson. There were 14 million overnight stays in 2005 compared to 11.2 million in 2003. British tourism increased by 22% in 2006 alone.

The indications are that Berlin is set to boom and the time appears to be now for overseas property investors to head for Berlin.

Why Haven’t I Tried to Use a Party Bus Service Before?

I’ve always just taken a limo or even a taxi when going to a party, but decided I wanted to try something different this time around. We were visiting family for a wedding and they wanted everyone to be on time so they arranged for us to be driven to the party in party buses. It was an interesting experience using a party bus for Toronto.

They lined up outside of the hotel and we all climbed onto them in order to get to the church where the wedding would be held. There was at least five buses, I’m not sure how many, because I got on the second bus. I didn’t realize how many friends and family we had, and each bus carried at least 30 people.

It was an exciting experience using the party bus, because it was something I had never done before. I got to spend time on the bus with cousins I hadn’t seen in years, and we caught up on old times for the ride to the church. After the wedding, which was beautiful by the way, we climbed back onto those buses and made our way to the reception hall across town.

I honestly don’t think I have seen a more beautiful wedding, and the fact that we didn’t have to fight for parking in the parking lot when we got there because we were all just climbing off the buses made it so much better. I’m pretty sure that this was the best decision the bride and groom could have made in order to make their wedding day smooth and stress free.

The party lasted late into the night because we were all having so much fun and enjoying ourselves. Those party buses weren’t fazed though, the drivers were used to having to wait on people and tote them around the city to their destination so they were very pleasant about everything. It was a great experience.

Making New Friends on the Party Bus

I did a search a few weeks ago for a party bus Toronto company. Up until an hour before I searched, I had not even considered getting a party bus. However, my boss told me that he was in a huge jam. He had personal guests in town, and he would not be able to entertain them. He had planned on showing them around town, and he asked me if there was any way that I could do that. He didn’t tell me that there were nearly two dozen on the guest list for this tour though.

When he told me to just get a party bus as that is what he was going to do, I jumped at the chance. He was letting my bring my wife and our two teen children on this fun night out, so it made for a total of 27 people going, not including the driver. I went to the website that he told me about, and I was able to look at the different buses available.

I was surprised to see that there was one there that would hold nearly twice the number of people that were going to be on our trip!

While it was interesting to look at all of them and read about their amenities, I knew I needed to select the one that we would use before it was no longer available. We were able to reserve one that would hold up to 30 people, which meant we could have a few stragglers if need be. I really liked the entire look of the bus, and I knew that we were all in for a fun night. My boss even supplied the best of champagne for this trip along with sparkling juices for the kids. Not only did we have a fantastic night touring the city this way, but we made some new friends too.

Best Locations and Hostels in Berlin for Your Summer Holiday

The best time to visit Berlin is in the summertime! Long and hot summer days in Berlin will win you over for life. Explore the city by boat, by foot or by bicycle: a large number of places offer a fantastic view of Berlin and a lot of hostels in Berlin have nice parks and BBQ areas for summer-parties!

There are lots of things to find out about Berlin! You might not believe it, but Berlin is a city by the waterside and has actually more bridges than Venice? Why not discover Berlin by boat, and have a relaxing time along the Spree River and the Havel Lake by the canal. Take a boat trip with Stern and Kreis Schifffahrt. If you want to spend more time at sea, you can rent solar boats by the hour, for up to 8 people, at Solar Water world at Müggelsee, and you don’t need a license!

Where to Enjoy the Waterside in Berlin!

Badeschiff and sauna ship: – the swimming pool is embedded in the River Spree, and it’s considered one of the trendiest Pool and Party places in the city with a fantastic panoramic view! In wintertime it’s transformed into a sauna. Now, open since May, it is the best location to relax and have fun in Berlin. Entrance fee: 4€, open from 8:00 a.m – till late! You will find it close to U-Bhf Schlesisches Tor!

Bar 25 – one of the most famous party places in Berlin is in Fiedrichshain, Holzmarktstr, 2: The flagship club of the non-stop 72 hour-partying places; with electro, minimal, and all sorts of other phat beats! One of the most popular clubs worldwide!

Oststrand (Mühlenstraße 24-26) is a big beach in the city by the River Spree for all the sun worshippers stuck in the city over the summer! Experience a Mallorca atmosphere in Berlin, right in the city center! Enjoy cool drinks on deck chairs, relax until sunset and stay there for a beach party until sunrise!

Urbanhafen – don’t let the grey hospital building in Kreuzberg scare you. This is truly an oasis by the Landwehrkanal, with a hippie atmosphere and lots of cool places to eat all around.

Bike Around Berlin!

One of the trendiest ways to get around Berlin is by bike! Berlin is a very biker-friendly city and most hostel in Berlin have a rent-a-bike service. Don’t worry about traffic: even in the city center, you will find a quiet biking lane, and you can take your bike (if it rains or if you get tired) both on the S-Bahn and U-bahn with an extra ticket. You can bike anywhere, for example, to the nice green area, Wannsee, which also has a nice lakeside beach!

When you´re tired, take a break in one of the beer gardens of Berlin, such as Florians Garten. Located off the beaten tracks, this place does not exactly look like a “beer garden” at first glance, but wait and see, this abandoned green area by the railroad tracks, is stylish! Enjoy here the view off the Potstamer Platz skyline!

Sleep in Berlin!

For sleeping and recovering you can stay in Hostelsclub’s hostels in Berlin where some have a beautiful garden and terrace like the 3 Little Pigs Hostel Berlin situated in a former convent. It´s just minutes away from the pulsing districts of Mitte and Kreuzberg. Pegasus Hostel Berlin is located close to the famous Berlin Wall and has a great BBQ area. BaxPax Downtown is the best location to explore Berlin. You can rent a bike and enjoy the huge rooftop terrace and their massive swimming pool! If you prefer to stay in the “country side” of Berlin, book Touristenhaus Gruenau , located in the green Berlin-Grünau with a waterfront view, or Jetpak Eco Lodge with table tennis, basketball, volleyball and soccer in their huge outdoor recreation area. Enjoy also Tentstation, the only camping site in the centre of Berlin. The camping site is located on the former public pool grounds in the Mitte-Tiergarten district. The old pools and diving platforms create a unique atmosphere.

Simplistic Timepieces – Fashionable Styles That Hooked Us

If you are in love with watches and believe that they are as essential to your grooming as much as smart shoes, then you must have a timepiece for every mood or occasion. If you are a teenager, the funky ‘big dial’ watches might seem really cool, but if you are working in a corporate or have a reputation to maintain, don’t you think you ought to wear something more practical? You would have heard of sports watches, fitness watches or even casual watches that may all have their own purposes. But you would surely need to buy the best of simplistic timepieces too for making a mark in your workplace. It is not true that you would need to spend a fortune to get a smart watch nowadays. There are brands and styles that are affordable and have enough of oomph to make you look suave and chic.

Styles and Features that won our hearts:

If you find the extended lugs, or the GMT displays and other features on modern day watches too much to bear, just go ahead with these sleek and smart minimalist watches. Let us look at the top watches that owned us with their simplicity, amazing features and of course, with their affordability too.

Névo: This is for those who cannot afford to miss out on any social network notifications from their smartphones. The simplistic design of eleven white LED indicators that are embedded on the dial would indicate the calories you are burning and the distance you walk or run. The dual batteries are really long lasting and you shall be able to tether it with your smartphone using the Bluetooth. This has found takers from men of all age groups.

Larrson & Jennings CM Black: The Swedish-British watchmaker has made telling time a really fancy and yet sophisticated affair. The Milanese watch-strap is winning hearts all the same and is quite affordable by the average young man.

Skagen: The Denmark based watch company has an array of simplistic designs that has wowed us. We are in love with their Ancher range of watches that have adopted a no-nonsense approach to telling time. Yes, these are quite affordable and cost less than $200 too.

Victorinox INOX: This is just right for those who love the stainless steel finish and would rather dump the leather straps any day. The watch is water-resistant, scratch-resistant and even vibration-resistant. Did we also say that this awesome timepiece can be all yours within $500 only?

Timex Waterbury Chronograph: Timex is a brand that has already got many takers worldwide. The stunning Scandi-blue dial with yellow and white color scheme on this Waterbury Chronograph is something that the young at heart would love to flaunt. The retro-styled watches are super-cool and stylish too.

Who said that fashion cannot be pocket-friendly and at the same time not be over-the-top too? Get your simplistic watches and have the time of your life!

Democrats and Republicans With a Fashion Style

Politics is usually something that Americans are willing to embrace with their heart because it represents a cause resulting in some type of change.

Democrats and republicans usually have a hard time agreeing on certain things. However, both parties do agree on one thing and that is to act in the present to promote something different leading up to the future. This is why you see individuals’ stand around who they believe should represent their country going forward and lead their dreams into the right direction.

Barrack Obama was the 44th president elected in the white house and he represented the democrats. When Obama was receiving vote’s people all over the world would wear fashion attire that expressed how much they believed in him. Individuals would wear things like “Change 2009” and even Democrat Donkey Cufflinks and guess what? Obama won the election with flying colors.

Now for the year 2012 we have new candidates running in the presidential election. However, one will only come out success in the very end. We are starting to see candidates winning individuals hearts state to state from what they express in their views from healthcare, retirement plans, and college education and even down to marriage status.

If you have an idea on who you want to vote for within this year’s election why not express it to the fullest from your shoes all the way to your ears.

Just image when was the last time you went to a presidential election and saw nobody wearing any type of attire that represented their views on the candidates? That is right NEVER!

The reason why these political fashion statements occur consistently is because people have a strong sense of respect in the candidates that they believe in. Why not promote something that is going to help change the future going forward? Your great grandparents promoted change for you to live within better conditions then what they had to live in, so why not do the same for the generation going forward?

Just like Barrack Obama always promotes “Change”, we can only change what we are willing to believe needs to be altered for the better of American going into the future. It is up to us to get together as a whole and promote of what we believe in is the better option going forward. Just remember before you make any decisions to think if that decision that you are making is going to promote you and your family going into the future.

How to Become a Group Leader and Travel Free

If travel is your passion, and you can’t visualize yourself sitting at a desk all day, answering question about travel destinations which you would rather be visiting, becoming a Group Leader, may be your best solution.

The cruise line industry caters to the group sales methodology to fill up cruise cabins. Most of the major cruise companies will provide a free cruise for a Group Leader who sells 8 cabins or 15 full paying passengers. Some cruise companies require the group leader to pay for taxes, fees and upgrades. Smart group leaders, usually will book themselves, into an Interior cruise cabin. That way no one in the group has a less expensive cabin.

The Group Leader can sell his/her cruise or, cruise for free. This option is what makes the group leader’s opportunity so popular.

Experienced Tour Conductors, usually generate multiple methods to market their cruises or group travel events. The most common way is to locate established groups, who want to save money by traveling together. Other successful groups include special interest travel.

Because the majority of Group Leaders are not, travel agents, they may have regular jobs, and belong to social organizations and church groups which puts them in touch with hundreds of potential travelers.

There are a number of ways to get started as a Travel, Group Leader. If you are a junkie traveler, you can use your own experiences to build your confidence and your sales.

If you have a limited travel background, yet travel is a passion, you can take a home study course, or enroll in a couple of classes at your local junior college. There are also courses online, which are extremely affordable. Travel is a billion dollar industry and there are many options for learning different phases of the travel industry.

My own path through this maze was to enroll in a UC Berkeley Extension (Berkeley, Ca) course, on Group Travel. My instructor was one of the most successful group travel professionals in the country, at that time. My next step was to volunteer as a group leader for a social club who was attending an annual ski summit in Vale.

It is not necessary to spend lots of money on schooling be become an effective Group Leader. However, it is mandatory that you learn everything you can about your destination and the travel involved.

Once you have secured a basic knowledge of the type of group travel you want to offer, you can then seek out a host agency. A Host Agency is a licensed, bonded travel agency which allows travel agents or outside travel agents to book travel using their company name. There is a split in the commission, as the host agency is the legal business which allows you to book travel for your clients. Most host agencies charge a fee, and an annual fee, but not all. Fees for joining a Hosting Agency can range from zero dollars, up to $500.

Another option is to contact your local travel agency and let them know you want to work as an outside agent. Be prepared to explain what types of travel you want to offer and to what type of groups you want to specialize in. The agency owner, or manager, will provide you with the commission structure, if any, policies and procedures. Some travel agencies only offer free travel to group leaders, while others offer, free travel, and commissions.

When first starting out, it is almost always better to join a group in process, or, create a fun, 2 day trip, to get experience. My own experience included learning the procedure for a particular cruise ship. For about 5 years, every time a Princess Cruise ship docked in San Francisco, I thought I should further my travel education and be aboard ship when it cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and out to sea. My efforts landed me in the Captain’s Circle and qualified me as a Platinum Cruise Member.

It is easy to find clients. Below is a list of ways to market your travel events.

1. Informing your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, club members, organizations, friends of friends, twitter pals, and your personal email buddies, is a great way to find new clients.

2. The second best way is to invite friends, neighbors over for a travel party or a cruise party. Ask the cruise line or the resort, for a video tape and free promotional material to share with the guest. Provide guest with snacks and (cheap) wine. Keep the wine coming! No need to be aggressive. Travel sells itself, especially, if the destination and price is of interest. You can provide your clients with a bottle of fine wine aboard ship.

Remember to ask for a deposit. Stay focused, your job is to provide information and collect checks. Ask friends to sponsor a travel party. The more parties you have, the more people you sign up. It’s that simple!

3. Make announcements at your church and your organization. Include the information in the church bulletin or your organization’s newsletter, as many times as possible.

4. Have flyers made up, but not before you have business cards printed, with your name, contact numbers, email address, name of travel event, dates and starting cost.

5. Distribute flyers, at public places or public events.

6. Use classified ads, online and offline to promote your travel event.

7. Pass out your cards, everywhere you go. Doctor’s office, cleaners, grocery store, beauty shop, stores where you shop, your children’s school, your favorite neighborhood bar, and eating establishments.

Paper work is extremely important and without it, nothing happens. Paper work must be completed correctly and forwarded to the host agency or travel agency in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in an ugly situation, which could escalate into a legal battle.

Checks should be made out to the host agency or the travel agency. Even if the travel agency says its OK for your clients to make the check out to you, don’t do it. Get you commissions from the host agency, unless you have a Seller of Travel license. One you turn in your deposits and payments, the host agency or travel agency, will provide you with your commissions, based on your agreement.

Outside travel agents usually work under an Independent Contractor Agreement and are issued a 1099-MISC at the end of the year.

Use of RFID Technology in Libraries: An Automated Metheod of Circulation, Security, Tracking and…

1. Introduction

RFID is an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification. It is a technology that allows an item, for example a library book to be tracked and communicated with by radio waves. This technology is similar in concept to a Cell Phone.

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a broad term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. There are several methods of identification, but the most common is to store a serial number that identifies a person or object, and perhaps other information, on a microchip that is attached to an antenna (the chip and the antenna together are called an RFID transponder or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed on to computers that can make use of it.

2.Concept of RFID for Libraries

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is the latest technology to be used in library circulation operations and theft detection systems. RFID-based systems move beyond security to become tracking systems that combine security with more efficient tracking of materials throughout the library, including easier and faster charge and discharge, inventorying, and materials handling.

This technology helps librarians reduce valuable staff time spent scanning barcodes while checking out and checking in borrowed items.

RFID is a combination of radio -frequency-based technology and microchip technology. The information contained on microchips in the tags affixed to library materials is read using radio frequency technology regardless of item orientation or alignment (i.e., the technology does not require line-of-sight or a fixed plane to read tags as do traditional theft detection systems). The RFID gates at the library exit(s) can be as wide as four feet because the tags can be read at a distance of up to two feet by each of two parallel exit gate sensors.

2.1 Components of an RFID System

A comprehensive RFID system has four components:

(1) RFID tags that are electronically programmed with unique information;

(2) Readers or sensors to query the tags;

(3) Antenna; and

(4) Server on which the software that interfaces with the integrated library software is loaded.

2.1.1Tags

The heart of the system is the RFID tag, which can be fixed inside a book’s back cover or directly onto CDs and videos. This tag is equipped with a programmable chip and an antenna. Each paper-thin tag contains an engraved antenna and a microchip with a capacity of at least 64 bits. There are three types of tags: “read only”, “WORM,” and “read/write.

“Tags are “read only” if the identification is encoded at the time of manufacture and not re-writable.

“WORM” (Write-Once-Read-Many)” tags are programmed by the using organization, but without the ability of rewriting them later.

“Read/write tags,” which are chosen by most libraries, can have information changed or added. In RFID library, it is common to have part of the read/write tag secured against rewriting, e.g., the identification number of the item.

2.1.2 Readers

The reader powers an antenna to generate an RF field. When a tag passes through the field, the information stored on the chip in the tag is interpreted by the reader and sent to the server, which, in turn, communicates with the Integrated library system when the RFID system is interfaced with it.

RFID exit gate sensors (readers) at exits are basically two types. One type reads the information on the tag(s) going by and communicates that information to a server. The server, after checking against the circulation database, turn on an alarm if the material is not properly checked-out. Another type relies on a “theft” byte in the tag that is turned on or off to show that the item has been charged or not. It is then not necessary to communicate with the circulation database.

Readers in RFID library are used in the following ways:

Conversion station-where library data is written to the tag;

Staff workstation at circulation- used to charge and discharge library materials;

Self check-out station-used to check-out library materials without staff assistance;

Self check-in station-used to check in books etc. without staff assistance;

Exit sensors- to verify that all the books etc. leaving the library have been checked-out;

Book-drop reader- used to automatically discharge library materials and reactivate security.

Sorter and conveyor-automated system for returning books etc. to proper area of library;

Hand-held reader-used for inventorying and verifying that books etc. are shelved correctly.

2.1.3 Antenna

The antenna produces radio signals to activate the tag and read and write data to it. Antennas are the channels between the tag and the reader, which controls the system’s data acquisitions and communication. The electromagnetic field produced by an antenna can be constantly present when multiple tags are expected continually. Antennas can be built into a doorframe to receive tag data from person’s things passing through the door.

2.1.4 Server

The server is the heart of some comprehensive RFID systems. It is the communications gateway among the various components. It receives the information from one or more of the readers and exchanges information with the circulation database. Its software includes the SIP/SIP2 (Session Initiation Protocol), APIs (Applications Programming Interface) NCIP or SLNP necessary to interface it with the integrated library software. The server typically includes a transaction database so that reports can be produced.

2.2 Optional Components

Optional RFID system includes the following three components:

1. RFID Label Printer

2. Handheld Reader

3. External Book Return

1. RFID label Printer

An RFID-printer is used to print the labels with an individual barcode, library logo etc. When the print is applied, it simultaneously programmed the data in to the chip. After this process, the RFID label is taken from the printer and self-adhered to the book. It also checks each RFID label for function.

2. Handheld Reader/Inventory Wand

The portable Handheld Reader or inventory wand can be moved along the items on the shelves without touching them. The data goes to a storage unit, which can be downloaded at a server later on, or it can go to a unit, which will transmit it to the server using wireless technology. The inventory wand will cover three requirements:

· Screen the complete book collection on the shelves for inventory control.

· Search for books, which are mis-shelved.

· Search for individual book requested.

Other applications can be written for the inventory wand, since the system utilizes a personal data terminal (PDT).

3. External Book Return

Libraries can offer a distinct service, which is very useful for users like ability to return books during off hours. External book return is a machine with a slot with a chip RFID reader integrated into the wall. It works the same way as the Self Check –Out Station. The user identifies himself/herself (if required by the library), and then puts the book(s) in to the slot. Upon completing his/her return, the user will receive a receipt showing how many and which books were returned. Since they have already been checked-in, they can go directly back onto the shelves. These units can also be used with sorter and conveyor systems.

3. Key Features of RFID in library

The reliability of the system, its ease of operation, and the flexibility of tagging all kinds of media easily, is important criteria in choosing an RFID system. The main aim for today’s libraries to adopt RFID is the need to increase efficiency and reduce cost. Automation and self-service can help libraries of all sizes toward achieving these aims, and RFID has the added advantage that it can also provide security for the range of different media on offer in libraries. The technology can also improve circulation and inventory control, which helps to optimize the allocation of labor and financial resources. This means that libraries can relieve their professional employees of routine work and operational tasks.

All of the tags used in RFID technology for libraries are “passive.” The power to read the tags comes from the reader or exit sensor (reader), rather than from a battery within the tag.

A few libraries use “smart” card, which is an RFID card with additional encryption, is an alternative to merely adding an RFID tag on staff and user identification cards. Not only does that identify users for issue and return of library materials, but also for access to restricted areas or services. This would make it possible to make it into a “debit” card, with value added upon pre-payment to the library and value subtracted when a user used a photocopier, printer, or other fee-based device, or wished to pay fines or fees.

3.1 Speedy and Easy User self-charging/discharging

The use of RFID reduces the amount of time required to perform circulation operations. This technology helps librarians eliminate valuable staff time spent scanning barcodes while checking out and checking in borrowed items. For the users, RFID speeds up the borrowing and returns procedures. The Library professionals, instead of scanning bar codes all day long in front of a queue of users, are released for more productive and interesting duties. Staff is relieved further when readers are installed in book drops.

3.2 Reliability

The readers are highly reliable. Several vendors of RFID library systems claim an almost 100 percent detection rate using RFID tags.

Some RFID systems have an interface between the exit sensors and the circulation software to identify the items moving out of the library. Were a library user to run out of the library and not be catched, the library would at least know what had been stolen. If the user card also has an RFID tag, the library will also be able to determine who removed the items without properly charging them.

Other RFID systems encode the circulation status on the RFID tag. This is done by designating a bit as the “theft” bit and turning it off at time of charge and on at time of discharge. If the material that has not been properly charged is taken past the exit gate sensors, an immediate alarm is triggered. Another option is to use both the “theft” bit and the online interface to an integrated library system, the first to signal an immediate alarm and the second to identify what has been taken out.

3.3 High-speed inventorying

A unique advantage of RFID systems is their ability to scan books on the shelves without tipping them out or removing them. A hand-held inventory reader can be moved rapidly across a shelf of books to read all of the unique identification information. Using wireless technology, it is possible not only to update the inventory, but also to identify items, which are out of proper order.

3.4 Automated materials handling

Another application of RFID technology is automated materials handling. This includes conveyor and sorting systems that can move library materials and sort them by category into separate bins or onto separate carts. This significantly reduces the amount of staff time required to ready materials for re-shelving.

3.5 Tag life

RFID tags last longer than barcodes because, the technology does not require line-of-sight. Most RFID vendors claim a minimum of 100,000 transactions before a tag may need to be replaced.

4. Demerits of RFID Systems

4.1 High cost

The major disadvantage of RFID technology is its cost. While the readers and gate sensors used to read the information typically cost around $1,500 to $2,500 each; and the tags cost $.40 to $.75 each.

4.2 Accessibility to compromise

It is possible to compromise an RFID system by wrapping the protected material in two to three layers of ordinary household foil to block the radio signal. It is also possible to compromise an RFID system by placing two items against one another so that one tag overlays another. That may cancel out the signals. This requires knowledge of the technology and careful alignment.

4.3 Removal of exposed tags

RFID tags are typically affixed to the inside back cover and are exposed for removal. This means that there would be problems when users become more familiar with the role of the tags. In Indian libraries this is a major challenge to keep the tags intact.

4.4 Exit gate sensor (Reader) problems

While the short-range readers used for circulation charge and discharge and inventorying appear to read the tags 100 percent of the time, the performance of the exit gate sensors is more problematic. They always don’t read tags at up to twice the distance of the other readers. There is no library that has done a before and after inventory to determine the loss rate when RFID is used for security.

4.5 Invasion of User Privacy

Privacy concerns associated with item-level tagging is another significant barrier to library use of RFID tags. The problem with today’s library RFID system is that the tags contain static information that can be relatively easily read by unauthorized tag readers. This allows for privacy issues described as “tracking” and “hot-listing”.

Tracking refers to the ability to track the movements of a book (or person carrying the book) by “correlating multiple observations of the book’s bar code” or RFID tag. Hot-listing refers to the process of building a database of books and their associated tag numbers (the hot-list) and then using an unauthorized reader to determine who is checking out items in the hot-list.

4.6 Reader collision

One problem meet with RFID is the signal from one reader can interfere with the signal from another where coverage overlaps. This is called reader collision. One way to avoid the problem is to use a technique called time division multiple access, or TDMA. In simple terms, the readers are instructed to read at different times, rather than both trying to read at the same time. This ensures that they don’t interfere with each other. But it means any RFID tag in an area where two readers overlap will be read twice.

4.7 Tag collision

Another problem readers have is reading a lot of chips in the same field. Tag clash occurs when more than one chip reflects back a signal at the same time, confusing the reader. Different vendors have developed different systems for having the tags respond to the reader one at a time. Since they can be read in milliseconds, it appears that all the tags are being read simultaneously.

4.8 Lack of Standard

The tags used by library RFID vendors are not compatible even when they conform to the same standards because the current standards only seek electronic compatibility between tags and readers. The pattern of encoding information and the software that processes the information differs from vendor to vendor, therefore, a change from one vendor’s system to the other would require re-tagging all items or modifying the software.

5. Best Practices guidelines for Libraries

As libraries are implementing RFID systems, it is important to develop best practices guidelines to utilize the technology in best way and to keep the privacy concern away. The following may be the best practices guidelines for library RFID use:

· The Library should be open about its use of RFID technology including providing publicly available documents stating the rational for using RFID, objectives of its use and associated policies and procedure and who to contact with questions.

· Signs should be pasted at all facilities using RFID. The signs should inform the public that RFID technology is in use, the types of usage and a statement of protection of privacy and how this technology differs from other information collection methods.

· Only authorized personnel should have access to the RFID system.

· No personal information should be stored on the RFID tag.

· Information describing the tagged item should be encrypted on the tag even if the data is limited to a serial number

· No static information should be contained on the tag (bar code, manufacturer number) that can be read by unauthorized readers.

· All communication between tag and reader should be encrypted via a unique encryption key.

· All RFID readers in the library should be clearly marked.

· ISO 18000 mode-2 tags should be used rather than ISO 15693.

6. Installations

While there are over 500,000 RFID systems installed in warehouses and retail establishments worldwide, RFID systems are still relatively new in libraries. Fewer than 150 had been installed as of the 2004.

Most installations are small, primarily in branch libraries. The University of Connecticut Library; University of Nevada/Las Vegas Library, the Vienna Public Library in Austria, the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and the National University of Singapore Library are the only sites that appear to have tagged more than 500,000 items each.
So far in India only two University libraries have Installed the RFID system. First among them is Jayakar Library of Pune University and second is Dhanvantri Library of Jammu University. The use of RFID throughout Indian libraries will take at least four to five years.

7. Recent Developments

Recent developments in hardware and software for RFID systems have increased the potential of this technology in library automation and security. ‘Today, the one important result for libraries is the ability to use non-proprietary systems, now that the new generation of RFID-chips with standard ISO 15693 (to be integrated into ISO 18000-3) is available,’ explains Dr Christian Kern, system development manager of Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems, a Swiss company specializing in such systems for libraries. ‘With this technology, libraries do not have to depend on one single supplier for tags. As libraries make a long-term investment, which mainly consists of the quantity of tags needed, this is a very important requirement.’

8. Vendors

The products of six manufacturers of library RFID systems are available in India through their business associates: Bibliotheca, Checkpoint, ID Systems, 3M, X-ident technology GmbH represented by Infotek software and systems in India and TAGSYS— the last represented by Tech Logic, Vernon, Libsys in India and VTLS .

There are several other companies that provide products that work with RFID, including user self-charging stations and materials handling equipment.

Conclusion

It is quite clear from the above discussion that an RFID system may be a comprehensive system that addresses both the security and materials tracking needs of a library. RFID in the library is not a threat if best practices guidelines followed religiously, that it speeds up book borrowing and inventories and frees staff to do more user-service tasks. The technology saves money too and quickly gives a return on investment.

As far as privacy issue is concerned it is important to educate library staff and library users about the RFID technology used in libraries before implementing a program.

It may be good for librarians to wait and watch the developments in RFID for some time before the cost of tags comes down to $.20 or less, the figure which librarians has determined is the key to their serious consideration for the use of technology.

While library RFID systems have a great deal in common with one another, including the use of high frequency (13.56 MHz), passive, read-write tags. Lack of Standard and Compatibility of tags produced by different vendors is a major problem in implementation of RFID in Libraries. Current standards (ISO 15693) apply to container level tagging used in supply chain applications and do not address problems of tracking and hot listing. Next generation tags (ISO 18000) are designed for item level tagging. The newer tags are capable of resolving many of the privacy problems of today’s tags. However, no library RFID products are currently available using the new standard. Apart from that cost of the RFID Tags and equipment is also a major problem for libraries to implement the same in a developing country like India.