Novel idea launched at Benson Centre

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By Nick Seebruch
Novel idea launched at Benson Centre
Library CEO Helen McCutcheon withdraws some books from the Cornwall Public Library's NovelBranch Kiosk at the Benson Centre on Thursday, February 10, 2022 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Public Library launched a new novel library service at the Benson Centre on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

NovelBranch Kiosk is a mini-library that currently holds 150 volumes from the Cornwall Library’s collection. The kiosk works a bit like a vending machine. Those with Cornwall Library cards that are in good standing can use the bar code on their cards to access the kiosk and withdraw any books they like.

The using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology the kiosk tracks which books are taken out and which books are returned and communicates that information with the Cornwall Public Library computer system.

Cornwall Public Library CEO Helen McCutcheon said that the library will be closely monitoring the use of the kiosk to gauge the interest in the service and what types of books are most popular with the clients who use it.

Right now, the kiosk holds copies of the library’s most popular books, including Young Adult novels, children’s books, thrillers, mysteries, romance, action, French language novels and more. The library will be adding a suggestion box at the Benson Centre so users can submit their own ideas for content for the kiosk.

In addition to using a library card to access the kiosk, the Library’s mobile phone app can also be used.

Library staff will be at the Benson Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help first time users with the new service.

The NovelBranch Kiosk cost approximately $35,000 and will cost the library about $15,000 annually to maintain.

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