New moneyless library vending machine launched at local arena

December 13, 2017 by  

The Niagara Region Public Library installed a new Books to Go machine at a sports centre in St. Catharines earlier this month.

Also called a NovelBranch, the new vending machine was established at the St. Catharines Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre, to bridge the service gap in the west end of the city.

Dubbed a ‘mini library’, the Books to Go kiosk will allow library members to check out any of the 130 titles stocked in the machine, as well as return previously borrowed items. The special Holds to Go locker will allow patrons to pick up books they have pre-ordered on the library website.

Unlike most other vending machines, the bright blue NovelBranch can be accessed for free by any library member with a Public Library card.

To notify residents, libraries often use direct mail printing to distribute brochures, as well as signs in the branches and a banner on the library website. Staff will be at the arena on Saturdays during the month of December, to issue library cards to new members who would like to use the machine.

In addition to $35,000 bill for the Books to Go system, library staff are committed to servicing the machine on a daily basis. While the cost is high, it is still much less prohibitive than building a brand new library in the west end of the city.