The Akron-Summit County Public Library will soon be home to short story machine kiosks, which will enable residents to print out and read short stories at the touch of a button. The terminals, which give users the choice of one-, three-, or five-minute stories, were created by startup company Short Edition in 2015, and will be installed in four U.S. cities, thanks to a partnership with the Public Library Association and funds from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The local library system will determine placement and partners for the launch in coming weeks, according to a news release.
“We are delighted to have been selected as a partner in the Short Story Dispenser initiative,” said Pam Hickson-Stevenson, Director, Akron-Summit County Public Library. “We know our community will enjoy printing out short stories on demand, which will reinforce the importance and joy of reading.”
Along with the Akron-Summit County Public Library, other selected libraries for the kiosks include the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA); Richland Library (Columbia, SC); and Wichita Public Library (KS). The joint project also will encourage diverse writers to share their work through Short Edition’s digital content platform while promoting library programs and services for readers and writers of all ages.
Readers may print one-, three-, or five-minute stories from a range of genres at the touch of a button via the Short Story Dispenser. The kiosks will be branded to the libraries, enabling them to further their reach and visibility, as well as connect each story back to the full power of their collections and programs. This program also marks the launch of a new digital platform (www.short-edition.com/en) for sharing new literary creations.
“Public libraries have long been at the forefront of promoting and supporting literacy, literature and the joy of reading,” said PLA President Pam Sandlian Smith. “More recently, libraries are expanding programs and services that encourage and support creative community expression through digital media labs, writing programs and 3-D printing.”
“Libraries have an essential role to play in connecting the community and building a rich civic infrastructure. This program helps to further that goal, using storytelling as an impetus to inform people and attract new audiences,” said George Abbott, Knight Foundation director for community and national initiatives.
The Short Story Dispensers were first launched in France in 2015 by Short Edition, which designed and created the dispenser to bring literature to unexpected places like airports, train stations, shopping centers, and hospitals.
For info, visit www.akronlibrary.org.