Book Vending Machines Coming To Toronto's Union Station

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BOOK VENDING MACHINE
A passer-by runs past a book vending machine in a street of Paris, Friday, Aug. 19, 2005. Parisians craving Homer, Baudelaire or Maupassant in the middle of the night can get a quick literary fix at one of the French capital's five newly-installed book vending machines. Headline on the machine reads: "Book anytime". (AP Photo/Patrick de Noirmont) | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Commuters, get ready to get your read on.

As reported by the Toronto Star yesterday, Toronto Public Library hopes to have a book-lending machine at downtown's Union Station by the end of the year.

It's an exciting development from an idea that's been reported since 2010. At that time Anne Bailey, the director of branch libraries for the Toronto Public Library, told the CBC the intention was to have a machine with a touchscreen to select books, CDs or DVDs. Users could swipe their library cards, check out the items and also return them to the machine.

Such machines already exist in cities like São Paulo, Bucharest and Tokyo — Toronto bookstore The Monkey's Paw even has its own version, The Biblio-Mat, which dispenses older books for $2.

Even those who live outside of the city, but work in its environs (or go to school or own property in Toronto) are eligible for a library card, so this opens up the system to a whole new potential range of readers.

Toronto Public Library communications officer Ana-Maria Critchley told The Huffington Post Canada, "We need to confirm details about location and reach an agreement with Union Station before we can finalize anything about the service that we will be providing, the timing or even the design of the kiosk. There aren't many details at all that we can share at this point, simply because we don't know yet."

But that hasn't stopped plenty of people from getting excited about the prospect of books on the go (not to mention potentially a convenient spot to return your library books):


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