When they are installed outside of a local Pizza joint. The Altadena Library District put a book vending machine in front of their local Prime Pizza in an effort to expand their outreach and increase access to physical materials. Thanks to the addition of two new AutoLend Library vending machines, one located at Prime Pizza in Altadena and one temporarily staged just outside the Main Library (until the library can find a permanent home for it on the westside of Altadena) they can better serve their patrons.
The vending machines serve as community outreach kiosks that allow library cardholders to browse, hold, pick up, and return materials anytime. Even those who sign up for a digital library card can immediately check out an item.
“It’s an innovative use of traditional technology that allows us to be out in the community 24/7,” says District Director Nikki Winslow. “That frees up staff members to support other outreach opportunities and provide valuable library programs.”
Seriously, What Does A Library Vending Machine At A Pizza Joint Have To Offer?
Library self-service vending machines out in the community offer many benefits to the community by enhancing accessibility and convenience.
Extended Access Hours:
- Self-service vending machines allow users to access library materials beyond traditional library hours. This is particularly useful for those who work or have commitments during regular library operating hours.
- Users can conveniently borrow or return books and other materials without having to wait in line or adhere to the library’s schedule. This convenience is especially valuable for individuals with busy lifestyles.
- Placing vending machines in strategic locations within the community, such as community centers or shopping malls, increases the library’s outreach. It brings library services closer to where people live, work, shop, and play as well as creating remote convenient gathering places and safe spaces.
Additional Benefits to Library Vending Machines:
Reduced Staffing Costs:
- Self-service machines can help reduce the need for extensive staffing during off-peak hours, allowing libraries to allocate resources more efficiently. Staff can then focus on providing specialized services and assistance.
Quick and Easy Transactions:
- With user-friendly interfaces, these machines facilitate quick and easy transactions for borrowing and returning materials in real time. This simplicity encourages more people to use library services.
Remote Areas and Underserved Communities:
- In areas where establishing a full-fledged library may be challenging due to logistical or budgetary constraints, vending machines provide a cost-effective way to offer library services.
Integration with Online Platforms:
- These machines can be integrated with library databases and online platforms, allowing users to browse the catalog, reserve materials, and manage their accounts seamlessly.
- The convenience of self-service encourages more people to borrow materials, increasing the circulation of library resources.
- Libraries can use these machines to offer innovative services such as digital book downloads, providing access to e-books, audiobooks, and other digital resources.
Accessibility for Diverse Audiences:
- Vending machines are designed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities, ensuring that library services are inclusive and meet the needs of all patrons.