Jennifer Hicks: Reading Between the Lines


Library Brings Book Vending Machines to Public Spaces

Toronto Public Library Set to Roll Out Book Kiosks This Fall

book vending machines in Toronto
I remember about a year ago reading a story about a 24-hour ATM that sold cupcakes in New York City, and thinking that absolutely nothing could be better in a vending machine than fresh pastries with icing. Gone were the days of finding stale Ringolos and warm apple juice, and having to fight the machine to release your snack. 
The 21st Century has ushered in many great technological innovations, but the innovation of “sexy” deluxe vending machines ranks high up there among the best. Health clubs carry squash balls, deodorant, and socks for sale; Red Boxes offer new DVDs and Blu-Ray discs for rent; airports have automated kiosks that sell flight-saving headphones and iPod touches. 
In France you can get fresh baguettes out of a vending machine, and in Japan you can get anything from underwear to umbrellas; from fishing bait to pornography (of course you can!)
Get ready Toronto, because starting later this year, the vending machine game is about to change. The Toronto Public Library plans to roll out a book-lending machine at Union Station to help make it easier for commuters to check out books.
This innovation is a “novel” (pun intended) way to make the library more accessible to Torontonians; those with library cards and those who haven’t visited lately. Aimed at offering high demand books and DVDs, the intent is to allow readers with busy schedules to borrow books without having the deal with traditional and limited library hours.
Reports indicate that if the Union Station machine is well received, others could follow in high traffic commuter areas. 
I love this idea of making libraries more accessible to a captive audience of commuters. Get them hooked on the idea of borrowing and returning library books, and you've created a fan for life.
Someone let me know when the LCBO installs vending machines, because when I can grab a bottle of wine and the latest Gillian Flynn, I’ll know I’ve died and gone to heaven. New York can keep their cupcakes!
Image Source: Twitter