In the future when you return your items through the book drop at the renovated Brentwood Branch, a robot, of sorts, will take it from there. Brentwood is getting the Library District’s first “automated materials handling” system to do a job 24/7/365 that staff can do only when the library is open. The system, by Tech Logic, will help us return materials to the shelves for you much quicker. Your returned items will also show up on your account as “returned” within hours, even on holidays. And staff that spend a lot of time checking in, sorting and stacking books on return carts will have more time to help you, instead. The bin bottoms also adjust up as books are unloaded — easier for staff.
Here’s what happens behind the scenes: Patrons return stacks of books or other items through the return window outside or inside the branch, as they do now. Inside, the books fall onto a conveyor belt that separates them, scans each item for the bar code, sorts them by genre – nonfiction, sci-fi, children’s, etc.—and drops them into one of seven easy-to-wheel bins. Library staff then roll the bins to the proper department and reshelve the items.
It’s just one of the many cool features coming to the Renewed Brentwood Branch Library this winter.