Indiana’s first 24-hour library now open, day or night

Courtesy John Terhune/Journal & Courier

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A new library in northern Indiana that resembles a cross between an ATM and a vending machine has become the state’s first 24-hour library.

The fully-automated library opened this week inside downtown Lafayette’s Red Crown Mini Museum.

The free-standing unit that’s about 13 feet wide holds about 340 items on glass-enclosed shelves, including books, audiobooks and movies.

The machine made by EnvisionWare Inc. of Duluth, Georgia, is a self-checkout unit and a book return.

Users will scan their library cards, select an item from its inventory and that item will drop into a bin to be collected by the borrower.

Tippecanoe County librarian Jos Holman tells the Journal & Courier the mechanical library is the first of its kind for Indiana and is one of two east of the Mississippi River.

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