May 25, 2022

A Library in Japan is Testing the Use of Drones For Shelf-Reading Project

From The Asahi Shimbun:

A drone will soon be flying through the shelves of a city library here, but it won’t be disturbing the concentration of patrons or interfering with the daily operation.

Instead, the drone and artificial intelligence (AI) will be adapted to eliminate the troublesome, time-consuming task of regularly examining books at libraries imposed on human staff.

A verification test of the new automation tool to improve efficiency and reduce burden on librarians has started with an eye on “halving the time currently required for checking” at Funabashi city’s west library in the Nishifuna 1-chome district.

“The initial phase of the current manual inspection takes three days, and I want the time to be halved with the adoption of the automatic system,” said a library representative. “If that proves true, library services will improve, such as a shorter closure period.”

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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.