As part of its ongoing overhaul, the New York Public Library has installed a very clever conveyer train that moves research materials from the expanded Milstein Stacks underneath Bryant Park to the main Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Each adorably bright red car is able to travel either horizontally or vertically using conveyor rails embedded throughout the library, efficiently delivering its contents directly to library staff.
The new system – installed utilizing an innovative design developed by global design firm Gensler – consists of 24 individual red cars that run on rails and can seamlessly and automatically transition from horizontal to vertical motion. The cars pick up requested materials from the newly-expanded Milstein Research Stacks – which now have two levels that can hold up to 4 million research volumes – and deliver the materials to library staff in two locations: one on the first floor and the other in the Rose Main Reading Room. Staff then provide the materials to researchers for use in the library. The new conveyor system replaces an outdated setup in which boxes of research materials were placed on a series of conveyor belts. The new system is easier to maintain and more efficient.
You may have heard about our adorable new book train – here's one of its ancestors for #ThrowbackThursday! In 1912, this big cart on a pulley helped to transport books to the stacks of the newly-opened 42nd Street library from the Astor Library.???????? (Image via @nypl Digital Collections; ID 1150618)