April 6, 2017, by Susan Lim

New technology at the library

It does not come as a surprise when we receive an email from library on new books as the library is constantly upgrading with stock of books to stay with the current needs of the courses we offer.

All these books at the library need proper storage which requires extensive space and the university recently invested in compactus. The compactus is an electronically operated shelving unit which occupies less space compared to the conventional shelves at the library.

The Grand Arrival

Though some call is a cool gadget, the compactus as its heart aims at saving space. Costing RM 200,000 this compactus arrived at the library in a container, those huge boxes which are usually used to transport products by sea.

The lorry was parked below the library for 5  hours  while the compactus was hoisted up with a crane to Level A at of the library. Passerby did comment that it looked as if a construction was in progress. Little did anyone suspect that it was the new shelfing for books.

More space

Level A of the Library houses about 124 bays with an estimated of 25,000 books with an annual increase of nearly 30 to 35 percent of newly purchased books each year. Therefore to address the shortage of shelving space, this compactus was purchased to accommodate more books within less floor space.

“The shelves at this new compactus consist of books from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, though most engineering students are gathering around it. They are curious of the technology and how this works,” said UNMC’s Library Services Manager Ng Siew Ling.

“We bought this unit and it costs us RM 200,000 and we have plans to install more units, so that we can have more books,” Siew Ling said.

The library also has 2 conventional  compactuses at the Short Loan Collection and Central Store.  To operate this compactus, the user needs to turn the wheels at the front of the shelves to accesses the books they want. It requires force and this units are operated by the library staff only.

Easy to Use

The good news is that the new compactus can be operated by any user, it has wide aisles in between which are large enough to accommodate a wheel chair bound users. At the touch of a button, a user can access any book they wish to. A built in motion sensor also detects any movement in between the shelves.

It is time to visit the library and to follow the advice of your teachers to visit the library today. As Sidney Sheldon puts it, “ libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.”

The library is located at Block G, Green building and is a treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge.

Watch it in action here: https://youtu.be/7gEfsXrx7uY

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