The Cleveland Bradley County Public Library soon will consider bids for updating its collection management system with radio frequency identification technology to improve service, circulation speed and inventory accuracy.

"This looks to be the way of the future," library trustee Susan Lackey said.

In recent demonstration meetings, members of the library staff and board of trustees have met with vendors about how RFID technology — commonly used at "fast pass" gas pump payment stations and in shopping mall anti-theft systems — can enable patrons to check themselves out and give librarians more time to help them with other needs.

"It frees librarians to be librarians," said Jeff Allen, a representative of 3M, a worldwide technology products conglomerate that designs, engineers and manufactures RFID-based library systems.

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