The race to make everything smart has now reached bookshelves, but it’s being done as a fun maker project instead of a large corporation forcing electronics into every part of your life.

This system works with light sensors embedded into the bottom of the shelf. When a book is added or removed, the sensors trip and some LEDs will light up to indicate if the book is in the right position. This is handled with an Arduino Nano.

The books can then be checked out by scanning them with a barcode scanner connected to a Raspberry Pi 3B. This inputs the event into a database which uses a library card system.

It’s a bit more complex than that, so check out the short step-by-step below.

The system in its current iteration is a bit limited and complex, but if you want to replicate it you can find a full guide over on Instructables. Everything you need is there, including wiring schematics and the code.

While this project was created to keep track of books and who checked them out to read, we can think of many other adaptations for it. After cataloguing a collection you could use to to track your backlog as you go through it, keeping a nice list of what you’ve read.

It’s still a nice attempt at creating a digital library system in your home, which we’re sure someone will get a kick out of, especially if your family or friends keep indefinitely borrowing your books.


[h/t – Raspberry Pi Blog]