This paper (part one of two) addresses the investigative efforts of the Center for Automation Technologies (CAT), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, into the requirements and processes of the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL), and the describes the first several module concepts in the automation system designed to assist the TBBL staff in the processing of “talking books” (books on cassette). Part two discusses the remaining modules, system simulations, and conclusions.

The primary purposes for this modular system are 1. To assist the TBBL in meeting increased throughput demands and 2. To reduce work-related injury claims. The modules are designed to work individually (as to allow the possibility of similar libraries in other states purchasing modules as desired), and facilitate incremental implementation toward a complete system (for maximized benefit).

In this paper, the modules discussed are the BMC unloader (for which a patent application has been filed), the sorting and singulating module, the case orientation and latch opening module, a possible buffer module, and the automation-assisted rewind and inspection module.

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