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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > What do you think of the bokomaten? >>> Self-checkouts?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I read about the bokomaten, sort of a redbox-like vending machine for books that, instead of your credit card, uses your library card. Here's a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzpF9F...

What do you think? Anyone use one?


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) It might be a good thing if they are placed in the same locations as a redbox. Maybe it will get people to start reading again.

We have a library book vending machine in the lobby of our library. I fail to see the point if you're already at the library. I guess people are in such a hurry they want to just grab and go, but if I really want library books, I put them on hold from my computer and then just grab them off the holds shelf which is close to the entrance anyway.

I miss the library. Ever since finding a few places to download most of my ebooks at for free or cheap, I rarely go anymore. I'm lazy and find it easier to just look up what I want and get it instantly.


message 3: by Barb (new)

Barb That seems like a much bigger pain in the ass than just walking to the hold shelf, looking for my name, grabbing my book(s) and taking them to the front counter. Returning is much much less hassle.
Seems like a silly & gimmicky idea to me.


message 4: by Helena (new)

Helena | 1058 comments To the best of my knowledge we don't have the red box video vending machine in Canada. I have friends in the US that I visit often and they do have it, so I'm sort of familiar with it.

I'm assuming, you would place the titles you want on hold on line. These titles would be sent to the nearest bookamaten and you'd just got there to pick them up, using your library card as ID? It could be beneficial for those that work shifts, like me. I often have to wake up early and race to the library try to pick up my books on hold before they close. That's really the only reason I can see for using one.


message 5: by Helena (new)

Helena | 1058 comments BunWat wrote: "If that's how it works I guess I see the sense of it, sorta. Maybe. But I like going to pick up my holds in that actual library where I can see other humans and also scope the new arrivals shelf ..."

I definitely prefer to take my time and browse around at the library, but when I'm working nights I have wake up early and rush in to grab what I want before closing time. Then again, I could just wait until my day off, but what if I run out of books?! :D


message 6: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i like this one more:


this is a vending machine for books on rotterdam central station.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

That looks great, but does it have anything you would like to read in it?


message 8: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments perhaps not, but that's not the point. i'm never without book. and i could always buy a moleskine or sudokus.


message 9: by Rachel (last edited Feb 07, 2011 04:28AM) (new)

Rachel | 1107 comments janine wrote: "i like this one more:


this is a vending machine for books on rotterdam central station."


~giggles childishly~ Rotterdam.

Vending machine for books are cool! I wish they had even ONE where I live.


message 10: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments You know, that's a good question...do they use these for bestsellers or holds? Where are they? I mean, they'd be great for after hours, I think, but the machine moves pretty slowly, from what I can tell, and if the desk isn't busy, it's probably quicker to get the holds at the desk. I like the idea of putting the machine in a different location, e.g. supermarket, but then I doubt you'd place holds there, right, unless someone requested them to be placed there? And that adds a whole other level of complexity. I don't want to have to think too hard about where I pick up my holds.


message 11: by Barb (new)

Barb I can see how it would be a good option for people who can't make it to the library when it's open. I'm fortunate to not have that problem.


message 12: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) I don't use the library at all now, so no, I'm pretty sure I would never use it. In fact, even if I did use the library I wouldn't ever use it. Half of the fun of going to the bookstore for me is the browsing, the smell and feel of the books. I want to pick them up and look at them! That would apply to the library too if I used it. Except, the books are a little grubbier and that would take away from the experience somewhat.


message 13: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments is this a swedish invention? the name sounds very scandinavian.


Lyzzibug ~Still Breathing~ (lyzzibug) | 708 comments Not sure that would work. You can't fit all the different genres in a small box to accommodate everyone.


message 15: by Meels (last edited Feb 07, 2011 08:34AM) (new)

Meels (amelia) They don't care about everyone , Lyzzi. They only care about the books that are frequently checked out. If you're going in to find a reference book on different types of mold...yeah, you'll have to hit the shelves.


message 16: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments ::hopes ded doesn't mean the same as dead::

smelling salts?


message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments But will the vending machine take the place of bookstores and kiosks in stations and airports? 'Cause I'd rather browse.

I thought the bokomaten might be some Japanese title I hadn't heard of yet.


message 18: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments the vending machine in rotterdam is just extra, for those who don't have time to go to a bookstore or for when the bookstores are closed.


message 19: by Jammies (new)

Jammies I'm with you, Bun, although it's probably good for my wallet that we don't have those here.


message 20: by Jammies (new)

Jammies ::is sadly sure not even the Dutch will take me::


message 21: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments And they cook in such cute little ovens. :P


message 22: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments Jammies wrote: "::is sadly sure not even the Dutch will take me::"

if only i was in charge of these things. but we have a right-wing government now, and i'm pretty sure they don't like sock zombies, or universities, or art.


message 23: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Phil wrote: "And they cook in such cute little ovens. :P"

And they have everyone pay for their own meal.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I like the book vending machine Janine posted. Not so sure about the bokomaten. I think it would work in alternate locations, like, there's a book return box at a couple of the supermarkets here. There could be a bokomaten there, too.

But yes, selection would of necessity be limited to popular stuff, and that leads to wondering about well, if it's popular, what about holds? Do the people at the supermarket get access to stuff other people have been waiting for? That doesn't seem fair!


message 25: by Aynge (last edited Feb 07, 2011 03:55PM) (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments I will have to try it out before I could judge it. From the video it looks like it's slower than molasses.

I like the notion of checking out books from a machine on the sidewalk though. At my neighborhood library, the checkout clerk is a shiftless, stuck-up douche canoe who wears too-tight tee shirts that show off his silver-dollar-sized nipples. He resents you for making him look up from his web surfing and has no problem with letting you know it.

I've often wished they would replace him with a robot. You know, something with a bit more warmth.

I know in Europe you can use your cell phone to buy drinks from vending machines. I saw that years ago and we still don't have that here in the USA. So I won't hold my breath on the Automated Book Machine.


message 26: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I haven't looked at this thread for the longest time 'cause I thought it had something to do with anthropology.


message 27: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Me too, sorta.


message 28: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
I assumed it was some type of Japanese sex torture.

What do you do when your book gets caught on the metal band and doesn't drop? Yes, that's right. You shake, shake, shake the machine until it falls over on you and kills you.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "I assumed it was some type of Japanese sex torture.

What do you do when your book gets caught on the metal band and doesn't drop? Yes, that's right. You shake, shake, shake the machine until it falls over on you and kills you..."


Well, that doesn't sound good at all! I vote no. :D


message 30: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments Aynge wrote: "I will have to try it out before I could judge it. From the video it looks like it's slower than molasses.

I like the notion of checking out books from a machine on the sidewalk though. At my ne..."


my library has checkout computers, they're not very warm, but they don't have huge nipples either. they're very efficient and a whole lot faster than the bokomaten.


message 31: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I love the self checkout machines at my library. They're not like the bokomotens. You pick out the books like normal and then you check out the books sort of like the self-checkout machines at the supermarket. I like these because the machines are in the kids part of the library and 1) the kids have fun checking out their own books, and 2) if I'm in anti-social mood I don't have to make small talk with the librarians. I can get my books and go.


message 32: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments the only disadvantage to the self-checkout computers is that i can't check out books with librarians anymore, unless i go to one of the smaller libraries.


message 33: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Oh, we can use both, Janine, but I try not to bother the librarians when they're busy. I think the self checkout was supposed to free up their time to do other things.


message 34: by Barb (new)

Barb We have self-checkouts at my library too, the only problem is that you can't process holds at them ... which is pretty much how I operate. I put something on hold, and go pick it up. I have no choice but to use the front desk, which is fine because there are no tight-shirted-douche-canoes.


message 35: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
We don't have self-checkout at our libraries. I don't mind getting in the checkout lane, though. Even though it can get kind of long.

We have self-checkout at CVS stores and mostly it's an improvement, given that the human cashiers usually had enormous trouble subtracting things such as 3 cents from 5 cents. But the robo-checkout isn't any faster, and it may be slower. It also only works if it senses you've put items in the bag on the scale. So if you've brought your own bag and it's on your shoulder, and you put your items in the bag on your shoulder, it won't check you out. You have to take the bag you brought from home, set it on top of the plastic store bags, and fill it that way. And half the time something goes wrong and you have to summon a human anyway.


message 36: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments The last time I went to Walgreens, I used a raincheck, and the cashier looked at it, went away and came back with a calculator. So she could figure out what 50% off of $2.99 was.

Unbelievable. They let these people handle cash?

There's a store called Fresh & Easy here, and the checkout is automated. It took me about five minutes to figure out where my change was. Down below, about a foot off the floor. What the hell? You put your money into a slot near the scanner. Shouldn't your change come out in the same area?


message 37: by RandomAnthony (last edited Feb 08, 2011 04:34PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Jackie told me that her library has an honor system on holds/requests. The librarians put them on a shelf (tell me if I get this wrong, Jacks) and people find their materials (with their name attached, I assume...is that right, Jackie?) and check them out.

I don't trust people not to steal my holds. I want them behind the counter, like porn.

I like the supermarket self checkout for only a couple items. Invariably while I'm trying not to use a paper bag the stupidass weight-triggered platform thinks I'm ripping them off and makes me wait for a teenager to reactivate the device.


message 38: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "Jackie told me that her library has an honor system on holds/requests. The librarians put them on a shelf (tell me if I get this wrong, Jacks) and people find their materials (with their name atta..."

my library does the same thing. the checkout computer won't let anyone steal any books that aren't theirs because it knows who has what materials on hold.

i discovered that when trying to borrow a book i found on the new arrivals shelf. the computer said someone had it on hold. then the nice librarians gave it to me anyway, because it wasn't on the hold shelf yet.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "Jackie told me that her library has an honor system on holds/requests. The librarians put them on a shelf (tell me if I get this wrong, Jacks) and people find their materials (with their name atta..."

Yes, that's right, RA. The books are placed spine down, so no one can see what they are. But we have had trouble with theft, not with the books, but with CDs and DVDs. We've had to move that back behind the counter at a lot of the library branches.

But now, we just got a new music service called Freegal, where library patrons get three song downloads a week, that they can keep FOREVER! Anything in the Sony catalog!

This may sound like the library is giving stuff away, but we know patrons were ripping the music from the CDs anyways, or just stealing them. This way, there aren't any discs to get stolen or scratched.


message 40: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
My library has holds on shelves out in the open too. But I always assumed if someone grabbed the incorrect item, librarians would catch them at checkout. At a minimum, my name is on the hold slip, which hopefully they're matching to my library card.

the computer said someone had it on hold. then the nice librarians gave it to me anyway, because it wasn't on the hold shelf yet.

This wouldn't happen at my library system because we have the categories hold and in transit for hold. You wouldn't be able to get someone else's item if it fell into either category.


message 41: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
When I want a book but I'm 28th on the hold list, I go to the library, pull said book off the shelf, and put an anchovy between the pages. Fuckers.


message 42: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Jackie is going to KILL you.


message 43: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
**cackles**


message 44: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments You didn't use beribboned anchovies for the bookmark shebang, did you Sally?


message 45: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Awesome idea, but no.


message 46: by Barb (new)

Barb The holds are handled the same way at my library. They're put on the hold shelf, with a piece of paper with your last name on it wrapped around it so that the title of the book isn't visible until you pull it off the shelf. Since it's close to the front desk, it would probably be noticed if someone was at the shelf pulling everything out looking for something they like. I don't know if taking that piece of paper off would help you "steal" someone's hold, it might be input into the system who the book is on hold for via the barcode.

As for self check-outs. Love em', and use em' whenever I see them. The one we use most often is at our grocery store, and we don't have much trouble with it. On occassion, but the staffer they have assigned to them is pretty quick ... often they fix the problem from their terminal before you even have to resort to fetching them. As for using your own bags (or bins, in my case): they have the option to place your bags or bins on the platform prior to starting your check-out, and this re-tares the scales including the weight of your containers of choice ... and thus eliminates the problem of it not recognizing the correct weight of the items.


Lyzzibug ~Still Breathing~ (lyzzibug) | 708 comments I haven't been to our library in two or three years. Anytime I decided I need a new book I just get it. Which I should stop.

I hate the self check-outs at the grocery store. They usually take longer than regular lines. They are only as good as the person using it, and I'm surrounded by idiots.


message 48: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments Self-check out thingies take jobs away from my neighbors. They also take away part of the service I believe I'm paying for.

Besides, have you ever tried to flirt with a self-check machine?


message 49: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I would love for my local supermarket to get a self-checkout because they only ever have one line out of nine open in any case, and the one checkout person is invariably sulky and rude. Zu won't even set foot in the place anymore.

On the other hand, Trader Joe's does fine without self-checkout, and we get to play the game of choosing the line with the cutest checkout person.


message 50: by Michael (new)

Michael Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "Yes, that's right, RA. The books are placed spine down, so no one can see what they are. But we have had trouble with theft, not with the books, but with CDs and DVDs. We've had to move that back behind the counter at a lot of the library branches."

That's the way it is at my library only the books are shelved regularly on the hold shelf and not spine down. There is a slip of paper in the book with a number that corresponds to the number on your library card. The CDs and DVDs are kept behind the counter.


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