January 27, 2022

Video: All Aboard! Take a Look at NYPL’s New State of the Art Conveyor System (aka “Book Train”) in Action

Fast Facts About the Book Train (via NYPL):

The conveyor, developed by New Jersey based company Teledynamic, will begin delivering requested materials to two locations in the building during the week of Oct. 3. One of the locations – the iconic Rose Main Reading Room on the third floor – is reopening on Oct. 5 after an over two-year closure for repairs and restoration.

The new system – installed utilizing an innovative design developed by global design firm Gensler – consists of 24 individual red cars that run on rails and can seamlessly and automatically transition from horizontal to vertical motion. The cars pick up requested materials from the newly-expanded Milstein Research Stacks – which now have two levels that can hold up to 4 million research volumes – and deliver the materials to library staff in two locations: one on the first floor and the other in the Rose Main Reading Room. Staff then provide the materials to researchers for use in the library.

The new system:

  • Runs on 950-feet of vertical and horizontal track
  • Includes 24 cars that can each carry 30 pounds of material
  • Moves 75 feet per minute.
  • Are tracked using electronic sensors installed on the rails
  • Moves materials through 11 levels of the library, totaling 375 feet.
  • Is electric, and the cars run on 24VDC
  • Takes approximately five minutes to go from the Milstein Stacks to the Rose Main Reading Room (it takes longer for requested materials to be delivered, as the request needs to be received, the materials pulled by staff, and then placed on the system).
  • Costs about $2.6 million

See Also: Huff Po Coverage

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.