Standards Watch

RFID in Libraries–standards and guidelines

Cindy Hepfer, ALA’s representative to NISO, has informed us that the following ISO TC46 Committee Draft International Standard in 3 parts has been issued for ballot:

ISO/CD 28560-1, Information and documentation — Data model for use of RFID in libraries — Part 1: General requirements and data elements


Establishes an abstract model for the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for library items. The model is appropriate for all types of libraries. The data model specifies general requirements and a set of data elements to meet the needs for: circulation of library items; acquisition of library items; inter-library loan processes; data requirements of publishers; printers and other suppliers of library items; and details of borrowers, including membership cards.

ISO/CD 28560-2, Information and documentation — RFID in libraries — Part 2: Encoding based on ISO/IEC 15962


This part deals with the encoding rules based on ISO/IEC 15962 (RFID for item management — Data protocol), which uses an object identifier structure to identify data elements. This enables the optional data elements defined in Part 1 to be selected or not, even to the extent that the RFID tags on different items in the same library may carry different data elements.

ISO/CD 28560-3, Information and documentation — RFID in libraries — Part 3: Fixed length encoding


This part is applicable to RFID applications for libraries that use the RFID tags conforming to ISO/IEC 18000-3 mode 1 (RFID for item management — Part 3: Parameters for air interface communications at 13,56 MHz). This part defines a basic subset of data elements taken from the total set of data elements described in part 1. It is specified how to encode the basic set of data elements in a straightforward way in a basic block on the RFID tag.

Note that NISO has a recently issued Recommended Practice (RP): RFID in US Libraries (NISO RP-6-2008), which is freely available from the NISO website ( The NISO Working Group was in close contact with the international group that developed the above standard in an effort to keep the two documents in synch as much as possible.

Comments and vote recommendations from NISO members are due to NISO by March 6, 2008. This is the first ballot (Committee Draft) for the standard and thus your best opportunity to have any desired changes incorporated. Those desiring to review the drafts should contact either Cindy Hepfer ( or me ( — please indicate whether you’re an ALA member! Interested reviewers from countries other than the U.S. should contact their national standards body about the procedure for submitting votes on ISO TC46 standards.