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OWL awarded $36,500 in grants for outreach to Bantam
“OWL Box”, an outreach lending machine which is essentially a vending machine filled with books, audio books, and DVDs will be installed in September.
“We will be the first library in Connecticut to offer this new innovative service. We are very excited about this opportunity to reach out to the residents of Bantam as well as others who may find it hard to get to the OWL during normal business hours” said Ann Marie White, Library Director.
The grants will allow the OWL to purchase the machine, the book/DVD box drop that will be placed next to it, the maintenance agreement, and a one-time infusion of funds to purchase the additional materials needed to fill the OWL Box.
“We expect the OWL Box to be installed sometime in the month of September. We thank the Praxair Foundation and Seherr-Thoss Foundations for believing in this dynamic new service and funding it. We are also very grateful to Mr. Canciani, the owner of the Big Value of Bantam, who has agreed to allow us to place the OWL Box at the Big Value” said White.
“Big Value was our first and ideal choice for locating the OWL Box because it offers access to seniors, working adults, busy families, teens, and children. There are many families that live within walking or bike riding distance from Big Value. Now they can have access to library materials even if their parents are unable to drive them to the OWL. The senior bus routinely takes seniors to Big Value for grocery shopping. Now these seniors who have limited mobility can also have access to library materials” said Audra MacLaren, Adult Services Librarian.
The OWL Box will provide 24/7 access to books, audio books, and DVDs. The OWL Box acts like a vending machine where patrons from any town may insert their library card, make selections, and the item drops down for patrons to take home. Any patron in good standing with a valid library card may use the machine. Items will be rotated at least once a week, and selections will be fine-tuned based on what circulates the most.
“The OWL Box responds to the busy life of working adults and families. If it’s 6 a.m. and you’re heading to New York City, you can stop at the OWL Box to pick up an audio book for the drive. If it’s 6pm on Sunday and you suddenly have a sick child at home, you can stop by for a DVD or a picture book for bedtime” White said. “It also responds by allowing us to extend our service without building a new building or adding staff. It’s a way to offer more services and the services our community needs. Libraries are essential and this allows even more residents that full and free access to the essential information they need 24/7.”