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Collection Development & Management Policies: Library ARC (Automated Reserve Collection)


The University of Limerick (UL) unveiled its dynamic and inspiring New Glucksman Library in 2018. This is a library designed to transform the University for scholarship in a digital world.

Leveraging UL’s tradition for innovation the library is technology-rich with advanced computing, collaboration and communication spaces. At the centre of this new library is the Library ARC (Automated Reserve Collection), an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). In a university, there is simply no substitute for an extensive collection of accumulated knowledge in books, essays, periodicals and other academic resources.

Responding to the transition from print to electronic and recognizing how the collections are used in an academic library, an automated store facilitates the storage and easy retrieval of lesser used library material. This unique feature at the University of Limerick is known as the Library ARC (Automated Reserve Collection), an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The ARC at UL consists of 3,780 steel bins that are arranged on both sides of an aisle, which has a "mini-load crane," guided by rails at top and bottom. Books are stored by height to maximise capacity and items are retrieved by barcode number. Requests for retrieval of ASRS items are submitted via the Library catalog, and are transmitted electronically to the ARC which directs the automatic crane to the appropriate bin and delivers the bin to a pickup station on the mezzanine at main floor level. The approximate location of the book in the bin is displayed on a terminal at the pickup station, along with author, for a staff member to transport to requestor. 

Enquiries about the ARC at UL may be directed to the library by emailing