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All-Hours Library Service to Open Soon in West Springfield

Starting next week, people in west Springfield will have easier access to books and other material from the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

The Library Express West opens Wednesday morning at 10 at 3872 W. Chestnut Expressway. 

“It is a really large vending unit that will dispense library materials, so it will dispense books, DVD's, and also if you have an item that you want to place on reserve, you can choose that as your location,” said Jim Schmidt, associate director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District and the project coordinator.

The kiosk will hold 340 items and about 1000 returns.

Patrons will be able to check out library materials there as well as renew and return them.

A wide array of materials will be available to start, and what it offers in the future, according to Schmidt, will be driven by users, "so if they want more cookbooks or more family DVD's then we'll be able to add that to try to meet it."

The Library Express West will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.

The kiosk is surrounded by a canopy that’s open so you can see inside, and it has a variety of security cameras on it for safety reasons, said Schmidt.

It’s the first of its kind in Springfield, and Schmidt believes it’s the first one in Missouri, too. 

The location was chosen after the library district conducted a survey of patrons, which showed a need for additional library service, particularly in west central Springfield.

"It's really a highly populated area and continues to grow, and we don't really have a service area that's close," Schmidt said.  "We do have mobile library service, but we don't have a physical location."

Funding for the kiosk, which cost $199,000, came from the Friends of the Library.  A federal grant from the Library Services and Technology Act funded the installation.