Library of the future set to open in Changning

Library of the future set to open in Changning

A delivery robot at work at the smart library in Changning

Shanghai's first intelligent library will open in downtown Changning District on Saturday, featuring a wide range of unmanned and robotic services.

The "New Page" reading room at the Changning Library on Tianshan Road aims to showcase what a library of the future will look like.

After facial scanning at the entrance, an artificial intelligence "staffer" will recommend new books to visitors based on their reading and borrowing records.

Within three minutes, a robot delivers requested books, which visitors can take home or read at the library.

After reading, they can summon the robot again and return the books to its belly.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips are attached to every book and bookshelf, so visitors and library staff can quickly find books.

Library of the future set to open in Changning

An AI "staffer" recommends books to visitors.

Several book disinfection machines have been installed as part of the COVID-19 prevention measures.

People can also download electronic books to their smart phones via a large touch screen or read them directly through the library's WeChat app.

Conventional services have been maintained in other sections of the library to serve seniors and people without smart phones, said Zhu Jianwei, head of the Changning District Culture and Tourism Bureau.

If the test project is successful, the smart library scenario will be promoted to the subdistrict and town-level libraries across Changning, Zhu said.

Library of the future set to open in Changning

The RFID shelves help readers quickly identify books.