New Technologies for the new branch

You may have seen the recent Quad City Times article about an automated book sorting system that will soon be installed at the Bettendorf Public Library.  As mentioned in the article, there will be a similar system installed at the new branch.  Sortation systems (also known as AMH, or automated materials handling, systems) have been available for libraries to purchase for a number of years.  As with any new technology, sometimes it doesn’t pay to be an early adopter so we have put off moving to a sortation.  The timing of the Eastern branch project along with the fact that sorting systems have become more reliable and less expensive allows us to move to this new technology.

The sorter isn’t magic, though when you see it in action it certainly seems that way!  It simply reads the book or CD or DVD’s item ID, interfaces with the online circulation system to check the item in and then sends it on it’s way down a conveyor where it is deposited in one of seven different bins.  The big benefit for both library staff and patrons is that each item will be handled fewer times, reducingthe amount of time it will take for the item to be put back on the shelf for someone to check out and use. 

Once the branch opens you’ll be able to see for yourself how the sorter works as we plan to install a camera that will provide a view of the sorter that can be viewed on a monitor in the lobby of the new library.

August 10, 2009 · Amy · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: technology

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