January 24, 2022

California: Public Libraries: "BART Turns a Station Into a Library"

From an NBC Bay Area Report:

[Last] Friday, BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] riders passing through the Millbrae BART station will be able to check out one of 800 books from an automated library,  a transit spokesman said.

The book checkout system, called “Library-a-Go-Go,” will be the  first of its kind to be installed at a West Bay BART station, spokesman Jim Allison said.

A similar system was installed at the Pittsburg/Bay Point station  in the East Bay in 2008.

Anyone with a library card from the Peninsula Library System will  be able to use the book-lending machine, which Allison said is like checking  out a book from a robotic librarian.

Library Book Lending Machine Opens at Millbrae BART Station (via BART)

Anyone who has a library card for one of the PLS libraries can use the machine to borrow one or more of the 500 available books.


BART has a similar program in the East Bay but this is the first West Bay station to get a machine. BART was the first transit agency in the country to offer this service to customers with the opening of the first machine (called Library-a-Go-Go) in May 2008 at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station.

“Just as our East Bay customers have enthusiastically embraced Library a-Go-Go, I’m sure our San Mateo County customers will be equally happy,” said BART Board Member Joel Keller. Keller has been selected as the first-ever Millbrae liaison from the BART Board.  “We are always looking for ways to improve our riders’ experience on BART and this certainly fills the bill.”

The Free2 Read & Ride machine features a touch screen, similar to an ATM screen, that library card-holders use to select books. The books are then delivered through an opening in the front of the unit by a robotic arm.

More Info from the Peninsula Library System Web Site

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.