The robots arrive at the library annex.
University libraries will install an automated storage and retrieval system at the 16,000 square foot facility that will use four to six robots to sort and select more than one million books and other library materials.
The automated storage system will enable the Libraries Annex, located at 3850 Rensch Road, adjacent to the North Campus, to more efficiently and securely store its vast physical collections, as well as continue the University Libraries’ plan to reinvent the libraries of the UB campus in state-of-the-art intellectual centers.
The new system would create additional space in campus libraries for technology-rich study spaces and classrooms suitable for educational experiences and interdisciplinary collaboration.
“The installation of this transformation tool as part of the Annex offers libraries the ability to extend the learning environments of UB students while providing efficient storage and continuous access to our rich physical collections. “said Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice-rector of university libraries. .
Automated storage and retrieval systems are quickly becoming the standard for library storage. The systems have been adopted by major academic libraries across the country, including Cornell University, California State University, and the University of Chicago.
The Library Annex currently uses the high bay storage model – developed in the 1980s – which requires staff to move along aisles in forklifts to pick up materials from shelves up to 30 feet in height. high.
An automated storage system uses an innovative cube model that secures the bins vertically along a grid. Rechargeable robots move on the top layer of the system to collect and return materials from the bins. As aisles are not required in the model, the system can significantly increase storage space.
The new system would allow the Library Annex to store an additional 1.2 million volumes and process more than 30 times as many transactions, while reducing the risk of injury to library staff. The transition to automated storage is also saving university libraries over $ 950,000 in costs.
The additional storage capacity would allow university libraries to become a leader in collective collection, a coordinated policy among SUNY Libraries to share materials and resources.
University libraries are in the process of identifying an automated storage and retrieval system that best meets the needs of the university and students.
Preparation for the new system is underway, as library staff work to resize collections in campus libraries by identifying and removing less-used materials for storage in the libraries annex. The movement of materials would create over 60,000 to 100,000 square feet of learning space in campus libraries.