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bibliotheca named as RFID supplier on £25m Fujitsu and Libraries NI project

RFID specialist bibliotheca has confirmed that it has been selected to provide full RFID services to Libraries NI, the single public library service for Northern Ireland, as part of an overall tender won by Fujitsu to manage the service’s ICT infrastructure.

The project, which will see Fujitsu manage the infrastructure across all libraries in Northern Ireland over a 5-year period, is aimed at transforming the library experience for the Northern Ireland public by offering new and improved amenities - such as, faster IT speeds, Wi-Fi access and self-service facilities – as well as introducing greater efficiency in back-end staff operations.

Under the contract bibliotheca will introduce RFID technology into all public libraries managed by Libraries NI, all of which will incorporate a selection of bibliotheca equipment including RFID security gates and, in 20 of the largest libraries, smartserve™ 400 self-service kiosks together with integrated payment stations – providing patron independence and allowing for greater staff involvement in library events. bibliotheca will also work alongside library technology supplier SirsiDynix who will provide the Library Management System to the libraries.

The first stage of implementing RFID technology in all NI libraries will begin in June 2013 with tagging teams - consisting of Libraries NI staff trained by bibliotheca and outsourced staff – tagging the service’s entire collection of over 1.8 million library items. This will be followed shortly after with the initial security gates being installed in August 2013, and the installation of the self-service terminals thereafter.

Darren Ratcliffe, bibliotheca’s UK Managing Director, comments:
“Having the opportunity to work on such a large-scale project with Libraries NI and Fujitsu is a great privilege for bibliotheca. We believe that combining our skills and resources will allow Libraries NI to offer Northern Ireland library users an enhanced and improved library experience. We look forward to working very closely with Fujitsu and Libraries NI over the coming years to deliver state-of-the-art RFID facilities.”

Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, comments:
“I know the importance of the library service to so many people and I am delighted to be able to provide £25 million over the next five years for this contract to help Libraries NI to greatly improve the public computer and internet facilities it provides. Libraries offer invaluable resources and services and we must ensure these are available, utilising new and emerging technology to as many people as possible. This contract is also intended to contribute to the vital work being done by Libraries NI to deliver DCAL's priorities of promoting equality and tackling poverty and social exclusion."

Irene Knox, Chief Executive of Libraries NI, adds:
“This new contract will provide cutting edge library services to the people of Northern Ireland whether it is in a local public library, a mobile library or online. We want to provide our customers with a rewarding experience every time they visit and the new enhanced services such as Wi-Fi access and improved IT speeds will help to deliver this to our users.”

The partnership with bibliotheca is the first of its kind whereby RFID technology will be implemented in every library in one country under one single contract in addition to the rollout being the largest deployment of RFID technology in the UK library market.

About bibliotheca
bibliotheca was formed in the spring of 2011 when the three leading independent companies of bibliotheca (Switzerland), Intellident (UK) and Integrated Technology Group, ITG (North America) merged to create a single, global entity. In January of 2012, the Group was extended further with the acquisition of Trion AG, one of Europe’s leading AMH suppliers. bibliotheca is financially backed by One Equity Partners, a division of JP Morgan Chase & Co. The formation of this Group creates the world’s largest company dedicated to the development, deployment and support of RFID-based solutions, with particular focus on public, private and academic library markets.

About Libraries NI
Libraries NI is the public library service for Northern Ireland. It came into being on 1 April 2009 as part of the Review of Public Administration. Its services are regionally planned and locally delivered and focus on: support for learning and learners; access to information; cultural and creative development; heritage and digitisation; and reading. Further information is available from Irene Knox, Chief Executive, Libraries NI, Lisburn City Library Linenhall St Lisburn BT28 1FJ.

About Fujitsu UK and Ireland
Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing over 10,100 people with an annual revenue of £1.6 billion. Additionally, Fujitsu’s other operations in the UK bring its total employee numbers to over 14,000 and its total revenues to £1.8 billion. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and product for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors.

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