Clark County library unveils book vending machine at Wittenberg

The Clark County Public Library has partnered with Wittenberg to put a book vending machine in the university’s Thomas Library.

The $60,000 machine, which was unveiled Wednesday, can vend books, music, movies and video games. Customers can also place holds and pick them up at the university library.

“The machine was purchased with the idea of this being a pilot program of sorts, to see how well it’s received and if this is something that we’ll look at perhaps getting for other areas around the community,” said Allison Peck, public relations manager.

Library director Bill Martino said they were approached by director Amanda McLellan and librarian Kristen Peters, both from the Thomas Library, to form some type of collaboration between them. He said they talked briefly about housing a collection of items at the university library but later decided they could try out the idea they had for some time about placing a book vending machine/kiosk somewhere in the county.

“It made sense that the Thomas Library would be the ideal place to put one. Now students and staff can check out books, DVDs, CDs and video games and also put holds on items from around the state that will be available to them via the kiosk,” he said. “We are hoping that the students and staff will take to the kiosk and that, if it is successful, we can begin looking at other locations around the county to put other ones.”

McLellan said they developed a nook around the machine as a place for students to be comfortable.

“Some of our goals with this collaboration are to support the development of life-long library users among our student population, to support affordable education initiatives, and to raise awareness of the fantastic opportunities to learn and grow available here in our community,” she said.

With the partnership, McLellan said they can issue public library cards to students who may not otherwise have had access because of transportation or other limitations.

“This machine provides a tangible point to not only provide easier access to popular reading and movies, but also to highlight the fantastic programs and resources available at Clark County Public Library,” she said. “Public libraries are essential to a healthy community and we have one of the best public library systems in the country right here in our backyard.”

Information Technology Librarian, Josh Lagle, will take care of making sure the machine remains stocked and that all holds are filled in a timely manner.

The book vending machine is open to the public. Anyone with a valid Clark County Public Library card can use the machine, and the university also offers community patron cards to those who would like to use Thomas Library material.

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