bookBot and Collections

The bookBot is an automated storage and retrieval system at the Hunt Library. It can store up to 2 million books and other items, which can be delivered to the Ask Us desk on Floor 2 of the Hunt Library within an hour of a click in the Libraries’ online catalog. 

When you visit the Hunt Library, you can see a demonstration of how the bookBot works; go to the bookBot windows on Floor 1 and press the Demo button on the large touchscreen.

Requiring one-ninth the space of conventional shelving, the bookBot helps transform this 21st-century library from a storage facility into a rich environment of learning and collaborative spaces.  

Books and other items are stored in over 18,000 bins. Each bin holds about 125–150 books. A detail that fascinates everyone who knows libraries is that the books are not sorted by call number! The only sorting is by size — bigger books in bigger bins. The system knows which bin contains which books, making shelf-order unnecessary. 

The Hunt Library is one of about 25 libraries in North America with an automated storage and retrieval system.

Collections at the Hunt Library

The bookBot stores our collections that support programs in engineering, computer science, textiles, and interdisciplinary research on Centennial Campus. In addition to the materials in the bookBot, the Hunt Library has about 10,000 volumes on open shelving for browsing. The Rain Garden Reading Lounge contains reference materials, NC State Faculty Publications, DVDs, video games, and current periodicals. The Quiet Reading Room is surrounded by shelves holding the most recent publications (2011 to present) in engineering, computer science, textiles.

The Hunt Library’s collections are part of an overall Libraries collection of 4.6 million volumes held at the Hunt Library, the D. H. Hill Jr. Library, the Design Library, the Natural Resources Library, the Veterinary Medicine Library, and online.