Grace booked for library of the future

Cleaning, packing and unpacking 12.5km worth of books for one of Australia’s biggest university libraries is just part of the job at Grace Business Services.

Grace is part-way through a three week project, working with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to establish a new Library Retrieval System (LRS).

The LRS is an underground storage facility for up to 900,000 of the University’s physical collection, and, according to UTS, is only the second of its kind in Australia.

Grace Business Services has been tasked with transporting 325,000 books or 12,500 linear metres of books over the next three weeks.

“About 60% of the collection initially, and 80% eventually, will be stored in special bins and able to be retrieved by a fast-travelling robotic crane. The crane can deliver any request to the library service desk within 15 minutes,” says the University’s website.

The job of transferring the books, many of them decades old, from the library to the storage facility is a complex process that requires expert care. The first step is to pack each book onto trolleys then transport them, using Grace’s custom-built trucks, to the new site.

From there, each book is cleaned and vacuumed using high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filtration systems.

The final step involves scanning the books and placing them into their new LRS system, ready to be recalled by the University’s 40,000 students and staff.