Book vending machines dispense mind food

The University of Sydney will roll out some of the first book vending machines in Australia as part of a novel new initiative to modernise its libraries.

Time-poor students at the University’s Library spaces can ‘snack’ on a selection of high-rotation titles from the library’s collections starting this October.

The book vending machines are the first of their kind in New South Wales, with only a handful of similar appliances entering the Australian market in recent years.

Not only will the service give students easy access to high-demand books stored in the vending machines, it will also open up valuable learning spaces within library facilities, said Matthew Davis, Associate Director Site Services University of Sydney Library.

“Feedback from students has consistently shown that learning spaces are at a premium on campus. The changes are really about providing valuable resources to students where and when they need them,” Mr Davis said.

“When we analysed data for Camden Library, for example, we found that students primarily used the space to study and access technology, with print collections used relatively infrequently.”

“Now that the overwhelming majority of information resources are delivered digitally, we’re able to develop spaces for students to think, connect and collaborate while still accessing the books they need.” Matthew Davis.

Interesting facts about library

  • It is never too late to return a book. In 2016, the granddaughter of a man who had taken out The Microscope and Its Revelations from Hereford Cathedral School in the UK returned the title 120 years after it had been “borrowed.”
  • A Yale university library used to allow stressed out students to borrow a border terrier mix and certified therapy dog, General Montgomery, a.k.a. Monty for 30 minutes of companionship. Sadly, Monty has since passed away.

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