New library retrieval system loading up

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Library staff have begun the daunting task of loading nearly 180,000 items into the automatic storage and retrieval system within the new Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons in time for Opening Day, June 24. 

The ASRS will contain lower circulation items, while higher circulation items and selected titles for specific disciplines will be available on open stacks on three floors. The ASRS frees up valuable space in the Mary Idema Pew Library for multiple uses by students, such as individual and group study areas, technology, media and presentation prep rooms, and social areas, including a café.

All items in the ASRS are cataloged in the library’s search engine and patrons will be able to request items online. Patrons also will have the choice of which campus to pick up their requested items. Immediate delivery will be available at the Mary Idema Pew Library. Deliveries to the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, Steelcase Library will be made several times each weekday.

The library’s computer system is utilized to keep track of each item in the ASRS. All the books have bar codes and are packed in 2-foot-by-4-foot carriers that can be called up by the computer system. Packing within the carriers is not by subject, but rather by size to make the most efficient use of space. Room for future growth was planned into the system, which has a capacity for 600,000 items.