Only the second of its kind in Australia, the Library Retrieval System (LRS) is an underground storage facility for lesser-used items from UTS’s physical collection, with the capacity to hold around one million items.
By the end of 2014, about 345,000 items had been transferred from UTS’s Blake and Kuring-gai libraries to the LRS. The books and other items are stored in special bins and retrieved by fast-travelling robotic cranes, which can deliver requests to the Library’s service desk in as little as 15 minutes.
About 80% of the Library’s collection will eventually be stored in the LRS. From the end of 2014, only the newest and most highly used items remain on the Library’s open shelves, allowing freed-up areas to be reinvented as interactive student spaces.
Below Alumni Green and about 20 metres deep, the 13,000m2 Library Retrieval System (LRS) features six aisles, each served by a robotic crane on rails. Items are stored in approximately 12,000 galvanised steel bins of four different heights.
When an online request is made direct from the Library’s catalogue, a robotic crane collects the bin containing the item and delivers it to UTS library staff at the ‘picking station’. The item is then retrieved by hand and delivered to the library for pick-up.
Items retrieved by the LRS are delivered several times a day by trolley to the Blake Library for collection. Once the UTS Library moves to UTS Central, there will be a direct connection from the LRS to the library, via a dedicated book lift.
- January 2012: Excavation work begins at the LRS site
- August 2012: Dematic Group appointed to provide the LRS
- May 2013: Foundations for the LRS complete
- March 2014: Installation of robotic arms and shelving complete – commissioning begins
- July 2014: First books loaded onto the LRS bins and official retrieval of requests begins