The incredible Marshall Shore turned me on to this:

Starting sometime in April, library books will be available at Contra Costa County BART stations via “ATM style lending machines.” A new program called Library-a-Go-Go, along with the Contra Costa County Library, will allow BART riders to simply swipe a card, select a book, wait for said book choice to drop, and then return the book after the rider is finished reading their literary gem. The machines will “hold around 400 popular and best-selling titles, both fiction and nonfiction, and will be accessible during Bart hours.”

Sweden, Norway, and Finland already use these nifty little gadgets. The Pittsburg/Bay Point station is first up to receive the literary lenders, which “cost a little under $100,000 each.”


The Contra Costa County Library is proud to be the first in the nation to offer the public book lending machines under a new program called Library-a-Go-Go. “We are so thrilled to be the first to offer reading materials in an ATM style lending machine,” said County Librarian Anne Cain. “We’re very fortunate to have BART helping us launch this endeavor. They’re the perfect partner.”

“BART has a history of being at the technological forefront. Being the first in the nation to install the book lending machines continues this tradition,” said BART Board President Gail Murray. “This project falls right in line with BART’s overall goals to help protect the environment, enhance accessibility and improve service to our customers.” Murray added.

The first Library-a-Go-Go machine is scheduled for service at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Bart station in May. “This is a fantastic idea,” said Chair and District V Supervisor Federal D. Glover. “It just makes so much sense to bring books right to the people, especially in the Bay Area where we average the second longest commute in the country.”

Anyone with a Contra Costa County Library card will be able to check out and return books. “Pittsburg/Bay Point riders won’t have to use their cars to make the extra trip to pick up a good book to read on BART,” said BART District 2 Director Joel Keller. “Library-a-Go-Go offers passengers a library experience that is fast, available at convenient hours, easy to use and customer focused.”