Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tech in the Library

My neighbor is volunteering at the library and has been telling me all sorts of unbelievable stories about how incompetent they are. He's putting books and dvds back on the shelves, and frequently finds stuff out of order. So I got to thinking how to make that job easier. Would it be possible to construct an rfid chip that carried the category, author, and title, and, when in the presence of objects in the same category, show a blue light? If the book was closest to 2 objects, both of which were either less than or greater than the author and title, it would show a red light, and if one of the objects was lower and the other higher, would show a green light that would indicate that the book should be shelved between the two.

With this sort of chip, you could just run the book along the shelves and find out fairly quickly where it belongs.

I don't know if this would be feasible or cost effective, but it sounds like a cool idea.


Blogger Seth said...

To be fair, a fair amount of the out-of-order shelving that you see in a public library arises from (1) the deliberate decision (as a matter of policy, to save time in shelving) not to put things in precise order -- this typically occurs within paperback or children's book sections, and (2) library users (not employees or volunteers) putting books back on the shelves in an incorrect place, either because of laziness, hurriedness, or lack of ability...

... based on my experience of close to a decade in high school and college volunteering at and then working at our local public library.

8:58 AM  

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