A smart library joint venture between China and Singapore, using robots and artificial intelligence (AI), is drawing praise from round the world, some hailing it as a successful combination of technology and eco-lifestyle.
The China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Library and Archives says it is using new technology to create a better experience for readers.
Covering an area of 35,000 sq m and a building area of 67,000 sq m in Tianjin-Binhai, China, the library is a key construction project between the governments of China and Singapore, as well as a major livelihood project of the Eco-city.
Located 10km from the core district of Binhai New Area, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, once a barren land composed of saltpan, deserted beaches and wastewater ponds, now serves as the forerunner of China's model for sustainable development.
The library will eventually house 1.5 million books and 1m archives. It is currently storing 370,000 books and 110,000 archives. It also has more than 2000 seats for readers.
Robots in the library shelve books and help readers navigate. Readers can borrow books by using their smartphones to scan barcodes.
"Compared to the libraries I have been to, this one has a large collection of books regarding ASEAN countries, which is quite remarkable. I've found several books that I'd like to read, which are hard to find elsewhere," Malychansy Keutkhuanchai, an editor from Lao News Agency, told People's Daily Online.
A child eco library has also been established, where kids can play in rooms decorated like tree houses, interact with reading robots and play educational games.
In addition to its comprehensive collection, the library also uses AI to compile a reading list for visitors. Based on their reading interests, readers can use smart screens to find recommended books, using their mobile phones to scan the book codes for further information.
Sorting robots also help readers find and fetch the books they want, as well as answering reader questions.
"New technologies are used to provide people with a better reading experience, while the eco-reading environment can encourage the kids to cultivate a good habit of reading," said Imran Muhammad, a journalist from Dawn News TV of Pakistan, adding that the library serves as a good combination of technology and leisure.
Content sourced from the People's Daily Online here