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Near Field Communication:Recent Developments and Library Implications

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2 Author(s)

Near Field Communication is a radio frequency technology that allows objects, such as mobile phones, computers, tags, or posters, to exchange information wirelessly across a small distance. This report on the progress of Near Field Communication reviews the features and functionality of the technology and summarizes the broad spectrum of its current and anticipated applications. We explore the development of NFC technology in recent years, introduce the major stakeholders in the NFC ecosystem, and project its movement toward mainstream adoption. Several examples of early implementation of NFC in libraries are highlighted, primarily involving the use of NFC to enhance discovery by linking books or other physical objects with digital information about library resources, but also including applications of NFC to collection management and self-checkout. Future uses of NFC in libraries, such as smart posters or other enhanced outreach, are envisioned as well as the potential for the "touch paradigm" and "Internet of things" to transform the ways in which library users interact with the information environment. Conscious of the privacy and security of our patrons, we also address continuing concerns related to NFC technology and its expected applications, recommending caution, awareness, and education as immediate next steps for librarians.