May 28, 2022

New Zealand: Dunedin City Library’s New Book Sorting System is Utilizing a “World First” Technology

From the Otago Daily Times:

Dunedin City Library has turned science fiction into real life with its new ”world-first” automated sorting system.

The million-dollar radio frequency identification (RFID) project now has the jewel in its crown with the installation of a new automated materials handling machine linked to the return boxes.


The machine automatically checks the books in and sorts them into different bins depending on which section of the library they come from – a job that normally takes staff more than three hours every morning.


FE Technologies director Clint Agustsson said his company specialised in RFID technology for libraries but the Dunedin machine had one major new innovation called a singulator.

The singulator is the first ever built and can receive a whole pile of books or other returned items simultaneously, which it then separates and processes one by one.

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.