A Fun Sort of Job



The new sort machine at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

From the Laramie County Library System
By Kasey Storey, Communications Coordinator

As you may have noticed, the Laramie County Library System has a brand new sort machine. All operations are running smoothly, and the new system has already started clocking some serious hours! We were curious about sort machines and the people who install them, so we asked Jonathan Michael of Lyngsoe Systems (the company who produced and installed our new sort system) all about it!

Jonathan Michael is a Field Service Technician for Lyngsoe Systems, a job that usually requires a degree in electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. While the company has different branches that install sort systems for airports, hospitals, and postal operations, Jonathan only installs library sort machines. He usually works as a one-man team, installing hardware, finagling with the software, and running final tests on all of the equipment. He has worked for Lyngsoe Systems for almost two years, and in that time he says he has visited over 100 libraries! He has been from Maine to Alaska and nearly every state in between to install sort systems of all different shapes and sizes.

Each sort system looks and works differently based on a library’s needs. Here at the Laramie County Library, our item returns, named Library Mates™, feed directly into our sort machine, but in other libraries the books need to travel great distances to reach the sort system. In some libraries, books travel to basements, while in others books travel along ceilings into different rooms.

Jonathan told us one of the coolest libraries he has visited is a public library in Anchorage Alaska, where he installed over 100 feet of conveyor belt (for reference our sort machine has about 15 feet of conveyor belt) behind earthquake-proof glass that withstands seismic activity. The system can be seen behind the glass, and carries books up along the ceiling by pinching them between the tracks.

Jonathan says he loves installing library sort machines, and has visited Wyoming to work on the Laramie County Library’s sort machine three or four times. According to Jonathan, one of the best parts of his job is that, “everyone is always happy when they see me. Whether I’m arriving to fix or install a sort machine or I’m leaving because I’ve completed the work, everyone is always glad to see me come and go.”

We were certainly happy to see Jonathan arrive to install the new system and happy to see him depart with a new and improved machine in place, and while we were intrigued to hear about all the libraries he has visited and all the machines he has worked on, we have to say that we are partial to our sort system here at the Laramie County Library.

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