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OPL Library Kiosk Service

Ottawa Public Library

Innovation Leader: Linda Standing, Library Manager, Linda.standing@biblioottawalibrary.ca

Problem Statement

Public libraries are always looking for ways to expand library services in both rural and urban areas. Mobile libraries are often used to provide library services to villages and city suburbs without convenient access to a library facility. Building new facilities and mobile libraries to expand service is expensive. The distance to a public library branch or mobile library book stop is a barrier to access. In Ottawa the average distance to a public library is branch is 2,750 meters (or a 42 minutes walk).

Innovation

Library kiosk vending machine (Brodart Lending Library)

The kiosk is a vending machine style kiosk that dispenses popular library materials to OPL cardholders and offers a convenient way to enjoy library services on the go.

This innovative pilot project is located at the newly-expanded Hunt Club/Riverside Community Services Centre.The kiosk service is available any time the Centre is open, providing longer hours of service than a branch. In addition to the kiosk service, patrons will have the option to pick up their holds at the Centre at designated times in the week. You can borrow popular adult, young adult and children’s print materials for three weeks, and DVDs for one week

By partnering with communities and using existing community resources the library can bring library service to people that is convenient for them and cost-effective for the Library. The library kiosk is located in the Hunt Club Riverside area of Ottawa. Although the residents in the Hunt Club/Riverside area of Ottawa have access to a weekly bookmobile service, they do not have a physical branch. This pilot kiosk project, the first of its kind in Canada directly responds to public demand for increased library service.

There are two kiosks: one contains children’s materials and the other contains adult and young adult items. A Library Returns box is located between them. The return box is emptied on a regular basis and returned items are backdated so that overdue charges don’t accrue.

Progress

The kiosk service started circulating items on March 5, 2010. To date (March 29, 2010), 427 items have been checked out of the kiosk. Public feedback to the kiosk has been extremely positive. One patron reported her daughter loves the new kiosk and the last time they went to take materials out her daughter run up and gave the machine a hug.