January 19, 2022

Hong Kong’s First Public Library Powered Self-Service Print Book Vending Machine Opens, Two More Machines Planned

From the South China Morning Post:

The words are on the street after Hong Kong’s public libraries operator opened the city’s first self-service book station on Tuesday.

Readers can now borrow from 300 books on the shelves of the vending machine-style station – which is located at Sai Wan Ho in the east of Hong Kong Island – with a scan of their library card or preregistered Hong Kong ID card.

Two more stations will be launched in the second half of 2018, one at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui and another at Tai Wai station in Sha Tin. The three stations were estimated to cost HK$7.8 million (US$1.18 million) to build and HK$4.8 million each year to operate, according to Lee Tsz-chun, the chief librarian in charge of operations and computerisation at Hong Kong Public Libraries.


In the neighbouring mainland Chinese city Shenzhen, 240 self-service library stations have been put into service since 2009.

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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.