Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rockford Public Library Considers a Branch Anywhere Future

Link to September 13 Rockford Register-Star article, "Rockford Public Library considers DVD, book machines"

Excerpt: The future of library services in Rockford may come in a box similar to DVD rental machines at groceries and pharmacies.

The technology is called Branch Anywhere. It’s a checkout system that Rockford Public Library leaders say could help them offer library materials at additional sites throughout Rockford, even as several traditional branches are considered for closure, said Emily Hartzog, library spokeswoman, said.

The library’s 2012 strategic plan discusses the possibility of letting the leases run out at the Rockton Centre and Rock River branches.

Branch Anywhere, developed by Indianapolis-based Evanced Solutions, can store up to 10,000 library items — books and DVDs — inside a metal box. Using a robotic arm, the machine would fetch materials through a digital coding system.

“As you start to look at the needs the community has and your ability to provide those needs, you start to look at technology,” Hartzog said. “This is just one way to provide access to library services without the traditional overhead.”

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