IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings

Table of Contents

Session: K9

The ILS and An Automated Storage & Retrieval System

Sandy Heft, Sonoma State University

Paula Hammett, Sonoma State University
Doug Randall, Innovative Interfaces

For many librarians the word storage conjures up a vision of some dark and distant room in the basement or some other building crammed with ceiling high stacks and dusty volumes rarely used because so often items are difficult to locate and all but the most persistent users are discouraged from borrowing them.

Enter the new high tech storage facility built as part of the construction of the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center at Sonoma State University. Marrying a system from industry with the needs of the Library has produced a successful solution to the shelf space issue.

Add that the solution uses automated retrieval to find and get the material from its location in the storage facility and you have a system ready to serve the needs of users.

The automated storage system is integrated with the Innovative Interfaces System allowing users to request the retrieval of items from the Web catalogue. The system maximizes the use of space by randomly storing items in the appropriate sized bins. Items are tracked by barcodes and retrieved from the bins by cranes positioned in each row of the facility.

When a request to retrieve an item is initiated, the item is located, manually matched with a pick slip and placed on an Electronic Transport Vehicle which delivers the material to the circulation desk where it is placed on a hold shelf for pickup.

The collection is easy to maintain, shelf reading is eliminated and users can request items over a period of time and pick them all up at once. Requests can be placed when the library is closed and are filled at opening.

Staff have identified the need for better error messages to alert users to non-availability of items. Users also need to learn how to use the catalogue to browse the collection to replace the traditional shelf browse capability.

For further information view the IUG power point presentation at : http://libweb.sonoma.edu/about/schulz/ars/ars.html

Kathy Dutchak, British Columbia Institute of Technology