New Taipei City Library 2.0+
New Taipei City
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Region : Asia
National GDP Per Capita (USD) : 24,971 (IMF, 2018)
City Population: 2.6 Million
Year Implemented : 2015
National Gini Index : 33.8 (CIA, 2012)
Tags : EDUCATION TOURISM IOT
Technologies Utilized : RFID, IoTm Integrated Library System (ILS)
Funding Source : Government
Project Cost : 75 Million NT$
Project Savings :
Planned Project Duration : Ongoing
KPIs : Number of patrons
Project Context and Overview
New Taipei has set a great example of how modern cities can utilize technological innovation to keep libraries relevant and central to the lives of their citizens. The New Taipei City Library successfully applied cutting-edge technology to provide a public library experience that is efficient, convenient, and inclusive. The NTPC Library network is made up of 104 branches located in 29 districts within New Taipei City. The network has been streamlined and has introduced innovative features to meet the diverse needs of New Taipei citizens. This includes 24-hour service and special services for readers of different age groups and readers with disabilities. Library management has also improved by the application of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, online management platform, and a user-friendly website and mobile apps. These smart features not only make user experience faster and more comfortable, but also alleviate the workload of the library staff.
Project Planning and Implementation
The Cultural Affairs Department of the New Taipei City Government launched and funded the project, allocating a total of 75 million NT$ to cover hardware, software, and content information. Claridy Solutions, Inc. provided hardware, software, and integration services, including the RFID system. Bright Ideas Design Co., Ltd. assisted in creative digital display and cultural design.
The RFID system is made up of two parts: a reader and a tag (usually attached to a card or object). All books have an RFID tag and serial number that allows them to be identified and categorized. Library cards also have an RFID tag and serial number linked to their patron.
NTPC Library new amenities include: a 24-hour self-checkout book warehouse with capacity for 2,059 books, self-service counters on every floor, outdoor book drop-off box, automatic book sorter with RFID reader, automatic book disinfection machines, RFID door access, online seat reservation system, interactive information wall, and e-book wall.
The New Taipei City Library adopted an integrated library system (ILS), a management platform to track patron activity, inventory, bills paid, and access other databases. The website for users allows access to library announcements, branch information, book recommendations, other e-resources, personal records, online book reservation, and online seat reservation. The mobile application, “New Taipei I-Book” also provides all these services in addition to electronic library cards.
An inviting atmosphere and inclusive design have set apart NTPC Library and greatly attributed to its success with citizens. Some reading areas have decorations inspired by famous tourist destinations or international landmarks. The library also has reading devices for visually impaired citizens.
The new library model is better suited to fulfill the varying needs and lifestyles of New Taipei citizens. NTPC Library is now not only considered a cultural landmark and tourist destination, but an essential part of the community. The NTPC Library also served as a test bed for ILS and RFID developed by Claridy Solutions, Inc. These smart library solutions have been applied to several institutions in Taiwan, including other public and academic libraries.
NTPC plans to make further improvements, including a QR code guided tour, Virtual Reality experience, wireless charging platforms, and more efficient energy usage.
Recommendations for Transfer
The New Taipei City Library 2.0+ attributes its success to two main areas: application of technology and universal design. RFID and other IoT devices have been sufficiently developed and tested, so they can be adopted by other institutions without major difficulty. Cities with budget constraints could adopt an open source library software. Cities should pay special attention to design and provision of devices for citizens with specific needs, since public services should account for the needs of all.
Cities who also wish to streamline their whole public library network should come up with a swift and effective plan to do so. Failure to provide comprehensive services could result in exclusion of certain areas or groups.
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