In yesterday's Library Link of the Day is an article from China about a vending machine for library materials. It holds up to fours hundred books, CDs or DVDs on three conveyor belts behind glass. Clients can use their cards to borrow items that drop into a drawer. If they do not have a card, they can make them on the spot. The inboard catalog links back to the Shenzhen Library which has 2.17 million items for which reserves can be placed. Clients are notified to return to the vending machine when items are available. Items may also return the items to the machine. RFID is used in the checkout and return processes.
This seems an interesting way for the library to go to the client. There might be an interesting number of applications we could make in both our urban and rural communities. In our suburb, it might be interesting to have one at the commuter rail station. We could probably stock it with donated popular reading and hardly touch the main collection. Time strapped commuters might be grateful!