Newest Vending Machine Dispenses iPads for Local Community Use

Newest Vending Machine Dispenses iPads for Local Community Use
Jenny James Lee
March 30, 2015

iPad KioskAfter successfully introducing a vending machine that dispensed MacBooks for 24-hour student use, Drexel University Libraries in collaboration with the Free Library of Philadelphia is introducing an iPad vending machine located in the Learning Terrace in the Lindy House of the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. Funded by a donor, the kiosk will make a dozen iPads available for Mantua and Powelton Village residents and Drexel students to use. The Dornsife Center, an innovative new urban extension center, provides an ideal site for community residents and Drexel faculty, students and professional staff to learn together.

Community members will be able to use their Free Library of Philadelphia library card to sign out an iPad and use it for a maximum of four hours. Similarly, with a swipe of their Drexel ID, students will be able to do the same. Any personal information entered by users on the iPad will be removed when the iPad is returned to the kiosk.

Librarians at the Free Library of Philadelphia and Drexel University have selected the apps installed on the iPads to be part of a suite of tools, including Browzine, Hoopla digital, Mango Languages, Overdrive, and Zinio. In addition, a variety of apps are available to explore art, digital storytelling, early literacy, games, geography, music, news, photo and image editing, earth sciences and astronomy, science, and video editing and production.

“We see this partnership as building upon the success of the Free Library of Philadelphia Hot Spots and Neighborhood Library Computer Labs that bring computer access, classes, and the internet to neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia,” says Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. “iPad apps have been specifically chosen to support the digital literacy needs for children, teens, and adults.”

“Based on the success of the laptop lending kiosk in W.W. Hagerty Library, self-service technology has proven to serve as an easy, attractive option for access to items we know our library users want,” says Danuta A. Nitecki, dean of Drexel Libraries. “We are exploring more opportunities to share technology via kiosks as well as new options for enriching the learning spaces where our Drexel community engages with information. It has been exciting to work with colleagues at the Free Library to think how tools might help our neighbors gain access to self-help training and practice discovery of information sources. We expect that once in place this kiosk will trigger new demands for apps from visitors to the Dornsife Center. ”

For more information about the kiosk, contact the Libraries at