Transforming Library Operation with Robotics

LIAU, Yi Chin (2019) Transforming Library Operation with Robotics. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session S08 - Information Technology. In: Robots in libraries: challenge or opportunity?, 21-22 August 2019, Wildau, Germany.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Transforming Library Operation with Robotics

At Singapore public libraries, robots and automatic sorting machines are used to help staff and volunteers with sorting returned books, shelf reading and transportation of library materials. The National Library Board (NLB) has embarked on its robotics journey in 2013 with the introduction of autosorter at the library@Chinatown. Since then, NLB has leveraged on technologies and robotics to re-engineer its library operations and automate many of the labour-intensive and time-consuming tasks. The paper shares how the adoption of robotics and automation technologies has transformed the library operation and improved customer experience at the libraries. The initiatives include autosorters, shelf-reading robots and mobile bookdrop. These innovations have helped to achieve cost savings and simplified workflow for the aging workforce, in addition to bringing convenience to citizens. The operation staff can now take on other higher-value tasks such as engaging patrons and conducting library programmes.

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