Jill Wagy, the systems manager for the Orange County Public Library system, said the library station is the first of its kind on the eastern coast of the United States. It operates like a vending machine for books and movies.
“Everything fits on a tray inside and then the tray gets delivered to the door and you pick your item out and then the tray goes back into the machine,” Wagy said.
“It’s really a fascinating machine.”
The idea for the kiosk came after the closing of a smaller library branch in Cedar Grove due to limited usage and the need for building repairs.
Library Director Lucinda Munger still wanted to offer library services to the area, and after seeing a prototype of the machine at a library conference, she sent a proposal to the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The proposal was then approved.
Since its debut in June, the library station allows for 24/7 access to more than 250 books and DVDs, ranging from children’s books to bestselling novels and materials written in Spanish.
“We’re able to get real time data about what materials are being checked out the most, and we can tweak it as we go along,” Munger said. “If we see that there is a collection that has really taken off out there, we can put more of it in the station and if a collection is doing bad, we can reduce those numbers and put in something more popular.”
Wagy said the collection housed inside the library station is called a “lucky day” collection due to the fluctuation in inventory.