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ERIC Number: EJ859391
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-15
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
Self-Service to the People
Kantor-Horning, Susan
Library Journal, v134 n13 p16-19 Aug 2009
It's called GoLibrary in the United States and Bokomaten in its native Sweden. Patrons know it as Library-a-Go-Go in Contra Costa County, California, but whatever its name, the automated lending service this materials handling machine provides has proved a tremendous aid in addressing underserved segments of this sprawling community. It's not hard to imagine that nightmarish daily commutes might leave residents with little time or inclination to visit community libraries. Though not necessarily a point of pride, a recent national report indicated that Contra Costa County workers have the tenth worst commute in the nation and the longest commute west of the Mississippi River. The library can't help with the commute, but it does have a ton of materials that could make passing the time a little more pleasant--if patrons can get their hands on them. That's where the GoLibrary machine enters the picture. Thanks to a generous 2007 Library Services and Technology Act-funded grant through the California State Library, commuters taking Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and residents living in an underserved area of the county will have immediate access to a wide variety of books at three locations (with a fourth in the works). Two of the current library materials vending machines have been installed at BART stations in the district and a third machine at a well-trafficked shopping center, which was additionally paid for in part by a grant from the Bay Area Library and Information System (BALIS). Two out of the three machines are accessible 24 hours a day. The Library-a-Go-Go service consists of a stand-alone machine, with access to a self-contained collection of approximately 400 paperbacks, that handles both checkouts and returns to authorized cardholders. The customer logs in to the system with a library card and uses the touch screen to make a selection, which is delivered by a robotic arm. The item arrives in a plastic case through an open slot, with a receipt. To return materials, the process is reversed, and the item is returned in its case through the same slot. A second-generation machine installed at the Sandy Cove Shopping Center does not require the plastic cases.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Sweden; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Library Services and Technology Act 1996