BookBot Transforms Library Experience

The new Charles Library has been opened for about 2 months to Temple University students and staff with a new look and feel for study and group work.

A new look comes with new technology. The way you can retrieve your library books has now become much simpler with the new Bookbot. This automated storage and retrieval system allows more space in the Charles as it stores 1.1 million of the university’s library books.

Temple University student Marie Rolland says the machine draws much attention, “Temple is becoming really popular because of the Bookbot. Actually my sister is an alumni from Temple University and she came here just to see the Bookbot.”

The announcement of the Bookbot had Temple junior Anye Stevenson confused at first. “At first I was very confused about the usage of the Bookbot. I think there was a lot of speculation on how it would be utilized whether it would bring books directly to you, or if you would go to the Bookbot and pick it up.

With the Bookbot storing about 60 to 70 percent of the university library books, 200,000 of the books that are left over are stacked on shelves on the fourth floor. Head of Access and Media services Justin Hill says this was the main point of the Bookbot. 

“We wanted to super condense the footprint the collection itself holds within the building which allows us to have more programmable space. In the ability to have co-location of academic services such as such as the student success center, as well as a lot more student seating and study space for group work.”

If students would like to receive a book from the Bookbot, they would request a book from the online library catalog pressing the request button of a book that is labeled Bookbot, and a signal is then sent to the Bookbot to retrieve the book. Staff members would then receive the book and send an email to the respective student detailing their book is ready for pick up.

To keep the Bookbot running at its best capacity, Dean of Libraries Joe Lucia says a constant upkeep is needed.

“We have to make sure all the things we have to do to keep the thing running, and mechanically healthy we do on a regular basis, so that is doesn’t break.”

Temple student William Riedel says the Bookbot does take away from the old way of searching for your library books, but it is a way of moving forward.

“I think too the process of actually hunting down your book in the library is somewhat empowering and it connects you with your reading to some extent. At the same time the Bookbot is extremely efficient, saves us a bunch of space, and it is the future.

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