21st Century Library

Phase I – Automated Retrieval Center

An exciting element of the 21st Century Library is the Automated Retrieval Center, or ARC. It houses a robotically guided system which, by virtue of density and height, is able to hold up to nine times the amount of cubic material in a given amount of floor space over conventional library shelving. The library is able to move 90% of the print collection into this compact structure, allowing tens of thousands of square feet of the existing building to be repurposed as study, research and learning space.

The ARC, completed in 2018 and now operational, has the capacity to house 1.25 million volumes of the library’s print collection, placed in bins three stories high and retrieved by robotic cranes. Books can be requested with the click of a button on a computer screen and be available for pickup in minutes.

  • Total capacity of 1.25 million print volumes in five rows of racks.
  • Robotic cranes retrieve bins each containing 100-140 books.
  • First phase includes 6,942 bins, two feet wide by four feet long.
  • Bins are stacked 36 high in specially made steel racks.
  • Transferring books into the ARC will allow the library to expand to 3,500 total user seats.
  • The space on top of the ARC houses a beautiful new Reading Room surrounded by windows on three sides, overlooking the plaza in front of the Student Union.

Libraries across the world, including over twenty in the United States, have installed retrieval centers, such as University of Chicago, North Carolina State University, University of Missouri Kansas City, and Georgia Southern University. The John C. Hitt Library ARC is the first of its kind in Florida.

John C. Hitt Library ARC In Action

Requesting Materials

UCF Students, Faculty, and Staff

UCF Students, Faculty, and Staff can request materials located in the ARC through the catalog. Simply click the “Request” button, login with your NID, and click “Place Request” at the bottom of the page.

UCF Students, Faculty, and Staff who wish to request an item from the ARC and have it delivered to a UCF branch or UCF Connect Library must place an Interlibrary Loan request for the item.

You will be notified through your UCF email when the item is ready to be picked up at the Circulation Desk.

Special Borrowers

Patrons with Special Borrowers Cards or with purchased Community Cards must first login to our catalog before they’re able to request ARC books.

Complete the Courtesy Login using the barcode number on the back or your library card and your 4 digit pin code. The Courtesy Login can be found by clicking the My Account link on our homepage and navigating to the Alternate Login page.

After logging in, click the “Request” button next to the desired item in the catalog. Click “Place Request” at the bottom of the next page. You will be notified through email when the item is ready to be picked up at the Circulation Desk.

More information about purchasing a community card or obtaining a special borrowers card can be found on our library card policy page.

Visitors & Community

Visitors and members of the community without library cards, but who wish to view an item stored in the ARC, can fill out an ARC Request Form to have books pulled for them.

You will be notified by phone or email when your requested materials have been pulled. They may be viewed and used for free while in the library. Materials can be returned to the Circulation Desk.

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