A fascinating development …

 

  

Original Chart:  Robotic Library System (Flickr)
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It was interesting to read in a recent press article, “On track for faster library” (SMH – March 2, 2009), about the developments occurring with the delivery of library books “… as part of a grand new design for the UTS library”. They state that there will be a six-storey library where “books will be stored tightly in metal racks in an underground vault” in the basement of the new building.  How do users access the resource? By a monorail running “vertically through the building to deliver books” that are searched for and selected by the computer system. Fascinating! This is not the first such example of a technologically driven library using a robotic backbone to access books for users – a Yorkshire library is already doing this and Macquarie University are looking to utlise robots in their new library too. An interesting blend of the further incorporation of technology into the world of libraries that leads the reader of the article to consider, ‘what next?’

 

Are libraries obsolete?

An interesting article appears in the ‘U’ publication (10.08) circulated for students of UTS. Headed Library Scan: are libraries obsolete in the digital age? It poses the question:

In today’s world – saturated with modern technology and immediate information – are libraries obsolete? Dr Alex Byrne believes not and says more than ever, libraries are vital and relevant in the electronic age.

Libraries are described as being gateways to knowledge … crowded with students ready to learn … and, vital to ensuring that the emerging information society will truly aspire to be for all and be fair and just for all.

In relation to school aged students, libraries composed of mainly text-type materials do not cater for the needs of Generation Y. Slowly, some schools are embracing the needs of the students in the digital age by allowing access to social networking sites, software applications that support podcasting and blog type environments.

Reflection

Will libraries endure and continue to be vital gateways in education to provide information in this intensively wired world?