Robolibraries Rolling Out in Chicago Suburbs

Posted on March 7, 2012 by

From The Chicago Tribune:

Tucked into vending machines or train station lockers, robolibraries allow patrons to pick up or drop off DVDs and books at their convenience during a time when many suburban libraries are cutting operating hours.

Others might take the form of kiosks that serve nearly the same function as satellite branches and can allow patrons to access books, movies, videos, music, audio books, games or anything else the library lends.

Think of these as Redboxes for readers.

The La Grange Public Library is conducting an online survey of residents to see if they are interested in self-service options such as lockers or vending-style machines that would be placed at sites other than the library.


A self-service DVD dispenser that holds up to 3,700 selections was installed in 2009 at the Rakow branch of the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. Voters approved a $4 million referendum in 2000 to build the branch, but rejected the ballot question for operating expenses. The branch is closed on Fridays, so officials sought ways to serve patrons without opening its doors.

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