One of the most prominent features of the new Macquarie University Library is the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). It’s a high-density storage system which houses 800,000 of the library’s 1.3 million items. The items which are in there are books which haven’t been borrowed or purchased in the last five years, as well as bound serials older than two years, and all our DVDs and microform material. Due to its climate-controlled environment, it’s also the perfect place to store our Rare Book Collection and other restricted access items.
This is the first ASRS in an Australian library, and we worked hard to explain the technology and the requesting process to olur clients. There’s more information available about our clients’ perceptions of the ASRS in this paper by Jenny Peasley, Deputy University Librarian, which was presented at the VALA conference earlier this year.
In order to remove some of the mystery around the ASRS, the library has uploaded a video to YouTube which goes behind-the-scenes to explain how the system works. Now everyone has the chance to see the “robots” in action.