Canada’s First Library Robot Serves Up Books at UBC

Check out UBC’s full press release.

“The ASRS is linked to the Library’s online catalogue. After Library staff or users request an item, the robotic cranes identify and retrieve the correct steel bin, matching the location of the bin to the requested bar code. The automated cranes deliver bins to a sorting station where staff retrieve and relay requested items to the circulation desk. The entire process takes about two minutes . “


“The ASRS stores 30 per cent of the collections previously housed in the Main Library, much of which was in locked storage. With the capacity to store 1.8 million volumes, the ASRS provides growth space for at least the next 15 years. The Library has a circulating collection of about 500,000 items that remain on open shelving, available for browsing. “

Could this be the future? Closed stacks for low circulation materials makes sense, but I’m not sure if this concept would work with actively used materials (to be honest, I have no clue…). I’ll be interested to hear the thoughts of our Academic Librarians here at Slaw.

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