PRESS RELEASE after WG11 meeting 20.11.2012

RFID in libraries – ISO 28560



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Last update: 21 December 2012

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PRESS RELEASE after WG11 meeting 20.11.2012


At the beginning of September 2012 two new work proposals in ISO were approved after ballot in ISO/TC46/SC4 Information and documentation, Technical interoperability:

  • 28560-4 Information and documentation -- RFID in libraries -- Part 4: Encoding of data elements based on rules from ISO/IEC 15962 in an RFID tag with partitioned memory (proposal for a technical specification) – proposed by UK
  • 28560-5 Information and documentation -- RFID in libraries -- Unique item identifier (UII) for libraries (proposal for an international standard) - proposed by Japan


A technical specification has a quicker process that an international standard, but after three years a technical specification shall be approved as an international standard or be omitted.


Both proposals are based on use of another frequency (UHF – ultra high frequency) than the two encoding/frequency standards in the ISO 28560 series (HF – high frequency: 13.56 MHz refer to ISO 18000-3).


The 28560-4 proposal covers encoding of all data elements in a structure similar to 28560-2 but using UHF frequency. Developing a Technical Specification is the fastest way to provide a standardised solution for libraries choosing to use UHF technology.


The 28560-5 proposal covers the definition of a unique item identifier for libraries for encoding as one element called UII, integrating two elements from ISO 28560-1: Primary item identifier and Owner institution (ISIL) to ensure that the identification is internationally unique.


The ISO working group for RFID in Libraries (ISO/TC46/SC4/WG11) met on 20 November to discuss the two above-mentioned proposals and the convener of WG11 Leif Andresen had asked the proposers to discuss the possibility for combining the two proposals into one proposal. This has not been possible. The scope is different and it has not been possible to find consensus about using the same encoding for the two basic data elements Primary item identifier and Owner institution (ISIL).


Before discussion of the two proposals, was the question “Shall a part define encoding of all or any data elements in part 1?” discussed. WG11 accepts the key principle that parts of ISO 28560 supporting encoding rules shall define how the data elements are encoded. To achieve interoperability between the encoding rules and RFID technologies all the data elements defined in ISO 28560-1 should be supported. If not all data elements are supported the parts addressing encoding shall declare which data elements are not supported.


The 28560-4 editors presented a work plan, which was accepted and WG11 asks the 28560-4 editors to deliver a final draft for internal WG11- ballot in March 2013.


For the proposed 28560-4 some possible change of scope and title was discussed and “WG11 asks the convener to consult the ISO Central Secretariat for advice in handling the 28560-5 proposal in respect of title and scope.”


Paul Chartier gave a presentation RFID PRIVACY IN EUROPE. Implications for Libraries*). A series of European Standards is under preparation and it is important to be aware of the level of security in RFID installations in libraries. The libraries will be under pressure for using an “RFID tag sign” in areas where RFID is used and also for using the PIA (Privacy Impact Assessment) process.


The meeting presented a solid basis for the further work with the proposed standards and additionally members were informed about recent developments in RFID and privacy issues.


/Leif Andresen and Alan Hopkinson


*) Link to the presentation of Paul Chartier



Convener of ISO TC46/SC4/WG11:

Leif Andresen,