A new computerized Library Retrieval System (LRS) will be put in place
during the second phase of the J. Paul Leonard Library expansion and renovation
project. Here’s how it will work: Selected books and periodicals
will be kept in bins on high-density shelving up to 40 feet high. Patrons
looking for these books need not brush up on their climbing skills, however.
They will simply go to any computer, access the library’s online
catalog, type in their request, and pick up the item within minutes or
when they next visit the library. The retrieval system’s robotic
crane will do all the work. In response to requests, the crane picks up
the appropriate bin and delivers it to a library employee, who retrieves
the requested book or periodical and places it in a fast-moving cart on
a track that leads straight to the check-out desk in as little as five
LRS system offers new convenience to students and faculty on the go. Not
only do patrons have access to materials from within the library, but
"you will be able to go online from your home or campus office and
request the book you need. The book will be waiting for you by the time
you arrive at the library," says Darlene Tong, head of information,
research and instructional services for the library. The LRS will also
enable the library to provide a greater array of resources. Because shelving
is condensed, the new library will be able to store up to 1.5 million
books and bound periodicals on site, increasing the number of potential
items in the collection by 300,000 volumes.
renovation of the existing building, virtually all of the library’s
collections will be housed in the LRS. After the completion of the project,
more than 400,000 of these books will be returned to the open stacks based
on criteria developed by library faculty in consultation with the departments
and programs they serve.
not housed in open stacks, the online catalog serves as a "virtual
shelf." By perusing a display of books in call number order and reviewing
the information available on each book -- such as author, title, publisher,
date, subject headings, and table of contents -- users can "browse
the shelf" to identify the books they want to retrieve.
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