In Japan, public libraries embrace digital tech with NFCs


In a world of ebooks and Wikipedia, the role of physical book collections is diminishing, and we’ve even seen the launch of entirely digital public libraries such as the BiblioTech in Texas. Now the Hanno City Library in Japan is integrating its collection with digital tech, using NFCs to help visitors more easily browse the contents of each shelf.

Those heading to the library, located in Saitama Prefecture, will notice small tags on each of the building’s bookshelves. By placing their NFC-enabled smartphone next to the tags, users are directed to a digital inventory of that shelf, which lets them see more information about each book and let them know if any titles are currently on loan. If one they want is currently out, they can reserve the copy and receive a notification once it’s back in stock. Developed by Fujitsu, the 100 tags located around the library also take advantage of digital resources such as Wikipedia to give readers more details about authors and fields of study. Libraries can also glean data on how their customers are using the resource.

Fujitsu is hoping that it can expand this service across hundreds of libraries in Japan if it proves to be popular with readers and researchers. Are there other ways to complement physical book collections with digital services?


Spotted by Murtaza Patel, written by Springwise

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