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Hamilton Book Dispenser opens a new world of learning

Don Fennell   Sep-19-2018

First self-serve book dispenser of its kind in at the Hamilton Community Centre.

Photo courtesy Richmond Public Library

Your library card is even more valuable than you may think. It’s the key to unlocking the door to tomorrow.

Routinely on the leading edge of technology, Richmond Public Library has introduced the first self-serve book dispenser of its kind in B.C. at the Hamilton Community Centre.



Formally unveiled today (Sept. 19) by Mayor Malcolm Brodie, the Hamilton Book Dispenser encourages library members to “Open the Door and Explore.” By simply inserting their library card into the self-serve machine, members are able to access the latest books for kids, teens and adults seven days a week.

A desire for “innovative” library services, to more closely mirror that offered in the library’s Launchpad at its Brighouse branch, spurred the vision to introduce the self-serve book dispenser, said Stephanie Vokey, co-ordinator of marketing and public relations at the Richmond Public Library.

“Richmond Public Library has been offering one-day library service to the Hamilton community since 2007,” she explained. “Over the last 18 months, library staff have been busy connecting with the community in various locations throughout Hamilton, providing access to refreshed collections and introducing new digital programs. Through these community conversations, we heard that one-day service was not enough and we thought there must be an innovative way to meet Hamilton’s reading needs. Thanks to the generous funding support from Richmond City Council, the library’s new self-serve book dispenser will ensure that Hamilton residents of all ages have daily access to popular library collections.”

Screen prompts help guide your use of the book dispenser. After inserting your Richmond Public Library card and entering your PIN, the door opens allowing you to choose the books to check out. Up to five books can be borrowed at one time, automatically checked out once the door is closed. The items can be borrowed for 14 days and be returned directly to the dispenser.

Already, there are more than 100 books to choose from. Staff will regularly restock the dispenser, and available materials will always include a great selection of the newest kids, teens and adult titles, Vokey promises.

Additionally, the library will continue to offer one-day library service in the rotunda of the Hamilton Community Centre each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At this time, community members are encouraged to speak with library staff, sign up for a library card, or partake in other library programs. A book return bin is located in the Hamilton Community Centre so members can drop off materials seven days a week.

The library also offers a variety of family-friendly programs on Saturdays and all are welcome to attend.

As one of the Richmond’s fastest growing communities, the Hamilton neighourhood is identified in the city’s Official Community Plan as needing a small library of 5,000 square feet. Such a project is to be funded by developer community amenity contributions.

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