It’s a novel idea: pick up a book for your commute home from a Toronto Public Library branch at Union Station.
While the newly-redesigned station doesn’t include an official branch, a vending machine that loans out books could be in place by the end of the year. A return bin would be right beside it, according to published reports.
“There’s been such a positive response to it, it’s breaking our social media services,” Ana-Maria Critchley, manager of stakeholder relations at the library, told CityNews on Thursday.
Critchley said that while there are few details confirmed – they don’t know the design of the kiosk or where it will be placed – interest in the project has been “amazing.”
Commuters and anyone else passing through the hub could access the vending machines with the swipe of a library card.
“It’s a way of broadening library services,” Critchley said.
Union Station wouldn’t even be the first place in Toronto to offer books in such a unique manner. Independent book store Monkey’s Paw opened a Biblio-Mat, where books are just $2. The only catch is, in that case, readers don’t know what they’re getting.
There’s a similar book-vending machine in Barrie.
7 other unique vending machine items
7) Live crabs in China, including sauce and a drink.
6) There are cupcake ATMs in several U.S. cities, including Dallas, Atlanta and New York.
5) A vending machine in San Francisco dispenses surfboards and bicycles. The catch? It’s an ad from Tourism British Columbia.
4) Gold can be purchased in a vending machine in (where else?) Dubai
3) There’s a string of marijuana dispensaries in British Columbia, operated by the BC Pain Society.
2) Beer, cigarettes, whisky … there’s a seemingly endless list of what’s available in Japanese vending machines. No ID required.
1) In Singapore, mashed potatoes can be purchased in a vending machine.