I know lots of libraries have put their building plans on hold or have lost mil levies or funding that would let them expand, so I think the time of the mini library has come. We want to be more involved in the community, and what better way to do this than to open kiosks in a few highly accessible places. Bookmobiles do a great job at this, but have their limits – they often lack bathrooms, are cramped, web access can be tough etc.
But there’s been discussion on the Alaska Library Association list serv, AKLA, about putting little library kiosks in the airports, which is a great idea, especially for those states with a statewide library card program so all residents could use them (plus, the airport is the one place that patrons will always have their identification with them!). Other libraries put kiosks in malls, but what about recreation centers, busy motor vehicle departments, groceries and other high traffic locales? If the library had plate glass windows, or was not enclosed at all (except maybe by a cage type contraption for when you’re closed but the facility is still open), you may not even need two staffers at all times as the person tending the kiosk would feel secure since employees of the host facility are always around.