Library vending machine coming

·2 min read

KERWOOD - Later this year, Adelaide Metcalfe will finally have a small piece of the Middlesex County Library system within its township borders. A pilot project will see the first Middlesex Library kiosk, also endearingly called a “book vending machine”, installed at the Adelaide Twp. office. The kiosk machine will scan users’ library cards and automatically keep track of which items are removed, updating the library’s inventory via the internet. It ties into another library capital project coming this year, which will see Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging replace barcodes to help with inventory control. Adelaide Metcalfe was chosen as it is the only Middlesex municipality without a library branch. It was determined that the Twp. office is the most suitable location - the fire hall isn’t always open to the public, and other than Woods General Store there isn’t much else. Front desk staff will be trained on the basics to help residents when needed. The project was included in the County’s 2021 budget, approved in March, at costs of $65,000. The machine will likely be purchased outright through a Request for Proposal, and branded with Middlesex County Library imagery. The County Library is in the process of getting quotes and determining which model of machine will best suit their needs. They’re hopeful to have the machine installed by the fall of 2021. County Librarian, Lindsay Brock, said they’ll take a learning approach with the project, and will make changes based on who is using the kiosk. Likely it will start with a “quick-pick” collection, with best-seller books and DVDs. The Mayor indicated he wished the location could be more central to the municipality, i.e. in Kerwood, but understands that there are limited spaces available.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner