Temple’s Plan Includes Library That Retrieves Books With Robotic Arms & Urban Quad In Middle Of Campus

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple University now has a plan in place to swap out its old library for a new one, which will be adjacent to what could become the largest green space in Temple’s history, an ‘academic quadrangle.’

The $190-million library will replace Barton Hall by 2018, along 13th Street between Norris Street and Polett Walk. It will feature a ‘robotic text retrieval system’ in which a crane with robotic arms will fetch books from bins three stories high, according to Temple senior vice president for construction, facilities and operations Jim Creedon.

“Going to a robotic system allows you to condense that area, but still make what is necessary available to those who need it.”

Longer range, the University is also planning a new academic commons, a quadrangle, surrounded by buildings, nearly the size of Rittenhouse Square.

Temple senior Raymond Smeriglio, the student body president, says University Trustees listened to them.

“And that’s wide open grassy areas to hang out with their friends and just be on a college campus.”

That square block of green space would be bounded by 13th Street, Polett Walk, 12th and Norris Streets in the area known as Beury Beach, after the planned demolitions of Beury Hall and the Bio Life Building.

Temple’s grand plan includes a library that retrieves books with robotic arms, and an urban quad in the middle of the campus.

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