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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Robot Librarian Filer  
  A device that works as a librarian, automatically filing books in the stacks.  

Filer 13B-445-K, robot librarian, had interests unlike those of any robot before him.

A Filer is an amazingly intelligent robot and there aren't many being manufactured. You'll find them only in the greatest libraries, dealing with only the largest and most complex collections. To call them simply librarians is to demean all librarians and to call their work simple. Of course very little intelligence is needed to shelve books or stamp cards, but this sort of work has long been handled by robots that are little more than wheeled IBM machines. The cataloging of human information has always been an incredibly complex task. The Filer robots were the ones who finally inherited the job. It rested easier on their metallic shoulders, than it ever had on the rounded ones of human librarians.
From The Robot Who Wanted to Know, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Pyramid Books in 1962
Additional resources -

It turns out that the robot librarian Filers could do more than just shelve books, or help you find one.

Besides a complete memory, Filer had other attributes that are usually connected to the human brain. Abstract connections for one thing. If it was asked for books on one subject, he could think of related books in other subjects that might be referred to. He could take a suggestion, pyramid it into a category, then produce tactile results in the form of a mountain of books.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Robot Who Wanted to Know
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Harrison
  Tech news articles related to The Robot Who Wanted to Know
  Tech news articles related to works by Harry Harrison

Robot Librarian Filer-related news articles:
  - Robot Librarians In The Stacks
  - The Library Of The Future
  - Meet Hugh, Your Robot Librarian

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