Robots…The New Librarians

The LA Times reports: “It’s not often that a librarian is warned to stay away from the bookshelves because of high voltage and that students aren’t allowed to roam freely through the stacks – but it’s becoming more common.

At Chicago State University only robots are allowed to browse most books and archives. Books are supplied with RFID chips, and to get a particular book, students and faculty must log onto the library’s website from home or school and place an order for a title.

Once the order is received, the library’s computer system directs a robotic crane – dubbed “Rover” by the librarians – to retrieve one of more than 6,300 bins. Each bin holds the equivalent of four bookshelves.

The crane then brings the bin to a workstation at the front of the warehouse, where a HUMAN BEING–a librarian–picks up the book.