Robots lost tricycles in a large library.

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May 10, 2011 12:10
Some libraries are using something like robots to take books out in non-self-server stack rooms. By contrast, Osaka Prefectural Central Library, opened in 1996 and having the largest number of books among public libraries in Japan, is using bicycles, to be exact, tricycles. Of course, it is the clerks that ride them. (Public libraries do not include the National Diet Library in Tokyo.)

I guess that because the library is relatively new, they were likely to judge that bicycles were better than robots. However, I don’t know if the clerks on bicycles will conclude that the decision was a good one, or not. Generally, libraries can be filled with considerablely more books when using robots, because robots can work in the narrower spaces that clerks cannot.

New York Public Library: 20 million books (bd)
Library of Congress: 22
British Library: 13
Osaka Prefectural Central Library: 1.8
National Diet Library (Japan): 8 (in 2006, w/o periodical publications)