Is this the world’s “most awesome library”?

Is this the world’s “most awesome library”?
by Kevin Murphy

That depends on whether you’re the type of person who agrees that bionic librarians, chaise lounges and the ability to converse at an above-whisper volume is preferable to the hushed, green lamp, bookshelf environment that’s been the norm for the last century. This February, the students and faculty of North Carolina State University will officially unveil their preference when the new James B. Hunt Library in Raleigh celebrates its grand opening.

More than six years in the making, and designed by Snøhetta (the firm behind New York’s 9/11 Memorial), the library is garnering much praise from media and architecture firms alike for its innovative use of technology and a layout that encourages student interaction and collaboration.

The AP reports:

1.5 million books are stored in more than 18,000 metal bins, retrievable by robots when a student requests one.

The book robot, known as a bookBot … slides between rows of bins 50 feet deep and 120 feet high. A staffer files a student’s request for a book on a computer, and the robot locates the right bin, pulls it out and leaves the bin in front of the staffer, who locates the right book and takes it to the student.

More details at


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