Friday, May 20, 2011

University of Chicago opens new library with automated retrieval system

Last week, the University of Chicago opened the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, notable for its on-site, underground high-density storage system and the absence of browseable book stacks. Described by Inside Higher Ed as a "Batcave for the Ph.D. crowd," the storage facility has room to store 3.5 million volume equivalents. It represents a middle ground between off-site book storage and overcrowded stacks in campus libraries. Library users identify the resources they want by searching the online catalog. The loss of browseablilty heightens the importance of complete and accurate catalog records. Five robotic cranes are deployed to retrieve materials requested by users from among the 24,000 storage bins, a process that reportedly takes less than five minutes.

Read the complete Inside Higher Ed story, and watch a short informational video at:

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