Electromagnetic technology

What is Electromagnetic (EM) library technology?


Electromagnetic (EM) technology is a time-tested technology for protecting valuable library collections. Its security markers are made of specialised magnetic materials that respond to low-level magnetic fields generated by detection devices at the library exit. The markers are sensitised or desensitised with staff accessories or patron self-checkout devices. A properly desensitised item does not set off the alarm at the EM security gate. If the item has not been desensitised, however, an alarm will sound at the library exit.    

EM technology offers unmatched security for two reasons: (1) its markers are covert, concealed in books spines or between pages, and (2) its operational frequency is low, making shielding of the marker signal nearly impossible. Because the EM markers are hard to shield and difficult to vandalize, common shoplifting methods can’t be used to steal marked books or items.

Why choose Tattle-Tape EM solutions?


Born of 3M innovation and perfected in the three decades since its invention, Tattle-Tape Security Strips are used to protect billions of individual items in thousands of libraries around the world. Designed and tested specifically for library environments, Tattle-Tape Security Strips are uniquely manufactured to have a strong and consistent signal strength. When used in conjunction with our Tattle-Tape staff solutions and security gates, they offer the best level of detection and reduced false alarms.

bibliotheca’s Tattle-Tape Security Strips are made of high coercivity magnetic components and premium adhesive liner materials that are designed to make application into books and other materials smooth and trouble-free. These tiny, thin, covert strips may seem simple, but their powerful performance is a result of quality materials, design strength and extensive testing.

When purchasing EM systems, consider bibliotheca’s proven technology:

  • Tattle-Tape Security Strips are guaranteed for the lifetime of the item to which they are applied.
  • bibliotheca’s Tattle-Tape security detection systems, hybrid selfCheck kiosks and staff accessories are engineered using the latest technology so they provide best-in-class security, ease of use and peace of mind.
  • Tattle-Tape security gates use modern digital signal processing techniques to provide the highest level of signal detection and discrimination capability. The overall result is consistent detection, very few false alarms and the highest level of security.
  • Lower quality EM strips could be desensitised with typical household magnets. 
  • Genuine Tattle-Tape technology can distinguish between common metal items and any EM strip to yield the most accurate results.

What type of libraries use Tattle-Tape EM solutions?


The most common libraries that use Tattle-Tape solutions around the world are those with similar goals and characteristics. 

  • Academic or special libraries that do not circulate a large number of physical items
  • Libraries with rare and highly valuable items that usually do not circulate
  • Libraries that are mainly concerned with the security of their collection

In addition to Electromagnetic solutions, bibliotheca also offers both RFID and hybrid technology systems.

Tattle-Tape library solutions that work best together

library supplies tattle tape strips
Tattle-Tape Security Strips and accessories

Essential to keep your collection secure

We offer a range of Tattle-Tape Security Strips and accessories to choose from, depending on which library items you are protecting. From single side adhesive, double-sided adhesive, strips for hardcover books to DVDs, we have the supplies and accessories to keep your collection secure.

EM security gate
bibliotheca Tattle-Tape gate clear

Superior detection meets modern design

With a modern and attractive clear and mirrored panel design, the bibliotheca Tattle-Tape gate clear not only offers superior detection using the latest DSP technology, but perfectly integrates with any library environment. Designed for use with Tattle-Tape Security Strips, this system detects all EM strips in any orientation. Along with a selection of built-in LED alarm light colours to choose from, it features a modern finish and is completely safe for all magnetic media.

hybrid workstation™

hybrid selfCheck 1000

Elegant design, crafted with purpose

Our hybrid selfCheck 1000 kiosk accurately processes library items with it’s ‘open V’ design. This design uses gravity to place items into the optimum position for deactivation, assuring first-time user success. When using Electromagnetic (EM) technology, users need to process one book, magazine, CD or DVD at a time.

EM Staff tools
bibliotheca Tattle-Tape workstation

The efficient, durable, all-in-one solution

The bibliotheca Tattle-Tape workstation allows staff to process library materials quickly and efficiently while virtually eliminating false alarms. With the ability to desensitise and resensitise Tattle-Tape Security Strips on print materials, CDs and DVDs, this ergonomic design with intuitive feedback indicators makes it simple for staff to quickly process materials.

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Learn about our other technologies


Electromagnetic technology


Radio Frequency Identification


Combined technologies

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