Queens Library, New York

Automating 62 libraries

Automating 62 libraries – a challenge in logistics

A combination of rising demand for new services, increasing lending rates and a shortage of staff led the library service in New York borough Queens to invest in Automated Material Handling (AMH). Lyngsoe Systems accepted the challenge, providing:


  •          Enhanced customer services – even down to multilingual interfaces
  •          Advanced automation in support of staff
  •          Enhanced security
  •          24/7 service
  •          Huge savings on resources


The Queens Library service in New York serves 2.3 million people from 62 locations, plus seven Adult Learning Centers, two Family Literacy Centers and even open space outreach programs in the community. Automated systems were needed to take the service into the future across all its locations – some of which have limited space or even preservation orders that restrict development, not to mention tackling the problem of staff shortages.


The following criteria were defined:

  •          Small machine footprint
  •          Strong service organization
  •          Durable product able to withstand rough treatment
  •          Serviceable by library staff
  •          Competitive pricing (including service and maintenance)
  •          Vendor’s track record
  •          Partnership for implementation at legacy sites


Lyngsoe Systems’ Integrated Library System (ILS) checked all the boxes.


ILS makes it convenient for the customer. Items can be returned at their convenience, with outdoor check-in stations that even have a multilingual interface – a big factor in multiethnic Queens. Staff increases have been avoided and the existing staff has found more time to interact with the customers whilst being relieved of the tedious and strenuous work of sorting and restocking. Items for lending are back in circulation faster, increasing lending frequency and customer satisfaction. Automated check-in also increases security and efficiency, even providing lenders with a receipt when an item has been returned.


Queens Library is unequivocal about the wisdom of investing in AMH, stating that the resources saved and time freed up for other activities are “huge!” What’s more, a partner was sought, rather than just a vendor, able to understand the needs of the service and to grow with it. Lyngsoe Systems not only fulfilled that role during the planning, design and installation phases, but after-sales support reaches a level of service described by Queens Library as “passionate”.