New York Public Library Installs New State-Of-The-Art Conveyor to Deliver Collection Items Throughout The Iconic 42nd Street Library

Photos and B-Roll Video Available Here (credit Jonathan Blanc /New York Public Library)

SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 -- The New York Public Library has installed a new, state-of-the-art conveyor system in its Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street to transport requested research materials from newly-expanded storage under Bryant Park to researchers throughout the library.

The conveyor, developed by New Jersey based company Teledynamic, will begin delivering requested materials to two locations in the building during the week of Oct. 3. One of the locations – the iconic Rose Main Reading Room on the third floor – is reopening on Oct. 5 after an over two-year closure for repairs and restoration.

The new system – installed utilizing an innovative design developed by global design firm Gensler – consists of 24 individual red cars that run on rails and can seamlessly and automatically transition from horizontal to vertical motion. The cars pick up requested materials from the newly-expanded Milstein Research Stacks – which now have two levels that can hold up to 4 million research volumes – and deliver the materials to library staff in two locations: one on the first floor and the other in the Rose Main Reading Room. Staff then provide the materials to researchers for use in the library.

The new conveyor system replaces an outdated setup in which boxes of research materials were placed on a series of conveyor belts. The new system is easier to maintain and more efficient.

The new system:

  • Runs on 950-feet of vertical and horizontal track
  • Includes 24 cars that can each carry 30 pounds of material
  • Moves 75 feet per minute.
  • Are tracked using electronic sensors installed on the rails
  • Moves materials through 11 levels of the library, totaling 375 feet.
  • Is electric, and the cars run on 24VDC
  • Takes approximately five minutes to go from the Milstein Stacks to the Rose Main Reading Room (it takes longer for requested materials to be delivered, as the request needs to be received, the materials pulled by staff, and then placed on the system).
  • Costs about $2.6 million

“This new dependable and efficient system will ensure a seamless delivery of research items from our storage facility to the researchers who need them,” said Matt Knutzen, director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Divisions within the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. “Our priorities include preserving our materials and making them increasingly accessible to the public in an inspiring space for research – our recent storage expansion, our restoration of the Reading Room, and the installation of this system are all elements of that work.”

“As designers working in research libraries and cultural institutions like these, it is incumbent upon us to think creatively to preserve often rare and valuable cultural artifacts,” said Anthony Harris, Project Architect at Gensler. “The new system embraces innovation and design in an unprecedented way so that these cultural products continue to be available to the public.”

Media Contact:

Angela Montefinise |

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at

About Gensler

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 46 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work and play more inspiring, more resilient and more impactful.