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Advanced Learning Library Puts Automated System For Returns To Use

Wichita Public Library

One of the new additions to the Advanced Learning Library in Wichita is getting a lot of attention.

Library visitors are taking a closer look at the automated materials handling system near the west entrance.

Books, movies and CDs can be deposited in the return slot inside the library or through a drive-up drop-off window outside.

Library assistant Kevin Wilkin says a conveyor belt moves the materials through barcode scanners and cameras.

"It doesn’t matter if the book is upside down or straight up because the cameras are on the bottom also," Wilkin says.

Credit Evan Pflugradt / KMUW
Library assistant Kevin Wilkin says it doesn't matter how many items or which way you put them through the slot: The system will process the materials.

The items are checked in, and then sorted into a bin for reshelving.

Wilkin says the automated system makes returns more efficient for library patrons because they no longer have to wait in line to return items.

"It saves time for them and it saves time for staff so we can help customers other ways," he says.

Wilkin says this technology is not available in the Wichita branch libraries.

The $38 million Advanced Learning Library opened June 16, capping more than a decade of planning, fundraising and building.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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