One of the features RFID offers over barcodes is the ability to join a set of RFID tags into a group, and check for the completeness of that group each time it is checked out of the library or returned by the patron. This way media consisting of several items, such as the recording made of several CDs, a booklet and its jacket, or a set of brochures inside a binder, or educational material together with its box and instructions can be checked for integrity if every separable item gets its own RFID tag.
There are some limits to this. Educational material may consist of a set of cue cards with as much as 120 single cards and more, and normal library tag reading equipment would be challenged by that number since the closely stacked tags interfere and shield each other. Also, it might not be desirable to mark the backsides of the cards, or there might simply not be enough space for the tag when the items to be tagged get small enough.
Are there viable alternatives?