After the books disappear...

Drop a book into our book return and it goes into the amazing automated sorting system on our lower level.

exterior book drop

1] You can return books inside, or the drive-up drop at the back of the library.

books enter sorter

2] A long conveyor carries the books downstairs. A computer system is always on the alert for problems.

books enter sorter

3] A scanner reads the code inside the book to decide which sorting bin to place it in and checks it in automatically. Placing your items in the book returns one at a time helps the scanner read all of them accurately.

books on conveyor

4] Books move along the conveyor to one of 19 bins. If the book is reserved for someone, it goes in a special bin, on its way to the holds room.

books enter sorter

5] When the book reaches the correct bin, a set of sideways-moving rollers rises to change its direction, and a soft ramp extends to ease it into the bin.

books enter sorter

6] Library staff put the books on carts, on their way to the shelves, and back to you! In this picture, you can see both the conveyor from the inside book return (upper left) and the outside (upper right).