Automated book storage systems at the Bordeaux municipal library... and elsewhere

Bordeaux set out to modernise its central library in the late 1980s, installing two automated book storage systems in the 27,000 m² Mériadeck library. At the time, the library was the only one of its kind in France. The installations were in great demand but were eventually dismantled in the 2000s just as equivalent automated book storage and retrieval systems were coming into widespread use, mainly in North American university libraries. What was behind the city's thinking in both instances, which remain unusual in France to this day?