December 1, 2015

Video: Meet the King County Library System’s Book Sorting Robot Named “Tin Man”

The King County Library System’s book sorting robot named “Tin Man” was featured in a KING-TV Evening Magazine segment earlier this week. Interesting! The video is embedded below.

A Book Patrol blog post that points to the video says the robot sorts between 38-45,000 items a week.

We love to see libraries, librarians, and library technology featured in the media but unfortunately the video begins with the reporter needing to include a few librarian stereotypes (the robot doesn’t where glasses, doesn’t say shhh, obligatory DDC mention, etc.). Sad but not unexpected. One day, some day, hopefully these stereotypes will come to an end.

Finally, at the bottom of the the video embed it says Seattle Public Library but the report talks about the King County Library System. Huh? Yes, they are neighbors and are both wonderful/superb/excellent libraries but what’s going on?

The video embed comes direct from the original KING-TV post. As you’ll see here, the entire text report confuses KCLS with the Seattle Public Library.

Source: Thanks to Book Patrol/Michael Lieberman/Seattle Post-Intelligencer for sharing and getting the attribution correct.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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