3. New York Public Library

According to Atlas Obscura, the main branch of the New York Public Library still uses pneumatic tubes. Paper requests for books in the stacks of the Humanities and Social Sciences library are sent down via pneumatic tubes to the staff, who locates the needed books and sends them up. With 125 miles of shelving — 88 miles in the seven stack floors of Humanities & Social Science Library and 37 miles in the two-level stack extension under Bryant Park — any form of efficiency is helpful.

According to Atlas Obscura, “So successful is the old pneumatic system in the NY Humanities and Social Sciences library that they installed a new system in the Science, Industry and Business Library on Madison Avenue in 1998.”

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