The University of Sydney will roll out some of the first book vending machines in Australia as part of a novel new initiative to modernise its libraries.
Time-poor students at the University's Library spaces at Camden and in the Bosch building can 'snack' on a selection of high-rotation titles from the library's collections starting this October.
The vending machines are the first of their kind in New South Wales, with only a handful of similar appliances entering the Australian market in recent years.
Not only will the new Holds and Loans (HAL) service give students easy access to high-demand books stored in the vending machines, it will also open up valuable learning spaces within library facilities, said Matthew Davis, Associate Director Site Services University of Sydney Library.
"Feedback from students has consistently shown that learning spaces are at a premium on campus. The changes are really about providing valuable resources to students where and when they need them," Mr Davis said.
"When we analysed data for Camden Library, for example, we found that students primarily used the space to study and access technology, with print collections used relatively infrequently.
Now that the overwhelming majority of information resources are delivered digitally, we're able to develop spaces for students to think, connect and collaborate while still accessing the books they need.
As part of the HAL service, users can swipe their student ID cards to access a selection of titles that are tagged with a radio frequency identification device within the vending machine. The custom-built Quantum 'LibCabinet' appliance also features a mounted CCTV camera unit for both security and remote access to service updates to machines.
The University of Sydney will also be installing a secure Bibliotecha 'SmartLocker' system in the library space at Camden. Similar to Australia Post's parcel lockers, this new system allows students to order any resources they need from other University libraries and collect them from the secure lockers at their convenience. The vending machines are being implemented following a successful four-month trial in the Camden Library earlier this year.
The vending machine service forms part of a broader transformation of the University of Sydney's libraries, which include refurbishments to The Quarter in the Badham building, the introduction of peer learning advisers, extended opening hours and plans to shift to a 24/7 service model by 2016.
"We're thrilled to be modernising our resources to deliver the best outcomes for our students," said Belinda Norman, Associate Director, Community and Administration University of Sydney Library.
"The vending machines are a significant step forward in moving from an organisational model structured around print, to one that more accurately reflects the digital delivery driving most student interactions with their library."
Can farmers, producers and regulators work together at all points of the food supply chain to help curb Australia’s growing obesity problem?
Sydney's commuting cyclists are twice as happy as people who drive, walk or use public transport to get to work, University of Sydney research reveals.
We celebrate the achievements and values of our students and alumni in a campaign that rolled out on campus, online, and on train stations, buses and street posters across Sydney last week.
Wheelchair basketball athletes from the NSW Institute of Sport and Wheelchair Sports NSW showed their support for the Pave the Way campaign this week.
How can we distinguish credible wellness information from unfounded pseudoscience? And why is it that wellness gurus are often taken more seriously than scientists? Jackie Randles writes.
It's National Science Week this week from 15-23 August and for all you science lovers, we have created a list of the University of Sydney's most exciting scientists on Twitter.
How do you choose the right university, or the right degree, for you, asks Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).
The review of Australian guidelines for the ethical use of IVF is raising questions over the impact of sex selection for non-medical purposes. Dr Tereza Hendl writes in The Conversation.
Warp drives might be the stuff of science fiction, but they could be a step closer to reality if we look to Einstein's theory of gravity, according to a University of Sydney researcher.
An industry training experience devised by the Department of Media and Communications is pairing RBC delegates with the latest broadcasting industry insights and research.