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SIP and NCIP Standards Development

SIP is the standard interface protocol that is supported by many vendors for library circulation. It was developed originally to support the 3M SelfCheck System, which allows library users to check their materials in and out themselves. We developed SIP to be a common protocol, published it as a public, open standard, and encouraged library automation vendors to use it in an effort to promote interoperability.

Customers of our self-service products would often require their ILS vendor to support SIP and it quickly became a defacto standard. It’s still in use today, even though the NISO NCIP standard has been released.

NCIP Standard Develo2pment

3M was a major participant in the nCip standard development. We saw the opportunity to take our defacto standard, SIP, and build on it with the NISO community to create a consensus standard that was broader in scope than SIP. 3M currently supports both SIP and NCIP in its products; we’ve had NCIP 1.0 implemented for over two years.

Version 2 of NCIP, which was published in 2008, incorporates more capability for the self-service areas where vendors are still using SIP. We plan to support the new version of NCIP and we continue to participate on the NCIP Implementers Group. The Group is actively promoting the adoption of NCIP 2.0 by library equipment and ILS vendors.

3M Standards Development

Outside the library industry, 3M is heavily involved in standards development in every area we have products, from consumer to aerospace. We also work with various industries to promote standards. We like to work though organizations like NISO so we can collaborate with others.

We participated in NISO’s RFID Working Group and on the ISO working group developing the International Standard for RFID in libraries, which will hopefully become the umbrella standard that closes the gap for RFID standards . Once vendors, such as ourselves, implement this standard, libraries will have assurance that their systems will be able to read tags from partner libraries when they inter-borrow, and also that their investments will be secure over time despite equipment and vendor changes.

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