How Library Books Get to Your Branch
New York is home to "the world’s fastest library-sorting system," at least according to the trophy. Here's how it's done: http://nyti.ms/1NUnMWk
- •238-foot-long conveyor beltEvery day, about 30,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other bar-coded materials make a detour through a facility in Queens. There, the items take a spin on a 238-foot-long conveyor belt that looks like it could be carrying duffel bags instead.
- •The $2.3 million sorting machineA machine known as the Sorter is the thumping heart of the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries. Humming along at 3.5 miles per hour, bar-coded items are scanned in a glowing infrared chamber, which triggers individual plates on the belt to jettison them, one by one, into crates destined for branches.
- •The 14 truck routesEvery day, trucks are dispatched along 14 routes to make pick ups and deliveries to the 150 branches of the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries. Eighteen drivers, working in shifts when traffic is light, cover about 500 miles a day. Last year, they made a total of 38,000 branch visits.