Biblio Tech (Wired)

The new library at Chicago State University has one ironclad rule: No students allowed in these stacks – only robots. Every book, CD, and DVD in the school’s $38 million facility is tagged with a radio-frequency ID chip. When a borrowed item slides through the return slot, the system identifies and sorts it. Human librarians shelve post-1990 materials in the traditional stacks and drop older stuff into file-drawer-sized bins. From there, it’s all robots – tall, forklift-style machines that run on tracks and stow the materials in a three-story-high storage facility. No Dewey decimals? No problem. The computer knows where everything is and can hustle the correct bin to the circulation desk for checkout. (more…)

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