Bringing Back the Book Train: Moving Books through Libraries

Kristen Twardowski


Trains do more than transport people and goods across countries; they move books through libraries as well. The New York Public Library recently installed a new book conveyor system, i.e. a book train, which brings books out of storage to library patrons.

The book train represents a massive improvement in the way patrons receive books. In days of yore, if a library patron wanted a book in storage, he or she would request the book and wait for a library staff member to descend into the bowels of the building (or travel to another building) and retrieve the item. The entire process could take several days. In contrast, this new book train system only takes 15 minutes.

The conveyor system itself is ingenious. It features 24 red cars that travel on a rail system, and dBook Train on a Curve.PNGespite the tricky qualities of gravity, the cars can transition from horizontal to vertical and…

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