The New York Public Library recently embarked on a controversial plan to move two to three million books off-site.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) retired its pneumatic-tube system sometime last year. It had been used to request books for more than a century. The New York Public Library opened in 1911 and that pneumatic call system had changed little since then. You still filled out a slip, and you still turned that slip over to a clerk, who would load it into a metal cartridge. The cartridge would be driven by air pressure to a station down in the stacks, where another clerk would retrieve your book, which was then sent back up to the call desk by a dumbwaiter. In recent years, this procedure would take about 20 minutes. In decades past, I’m told, it was closer to five.
Continue reading… “The library becoming more popular than ever, but books no longer the primary focus”