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Can a kiosk be considered a branch

Page history last edited by Kim Miller 9 years, 2 months ago


March 25, 2015




Bob Keith (NJ)


One of our county libraries has just opened a kiosk in a local mall.  This kiosk would basically allow library card holders to download ebooks and eaudiobooks to their devices in the mall.  They want to count it as a branch (for e-rate purposes, but that’s a separate discussion).  Based on the definition for 210 Number of Branches I don’t think that this should be considered a branch.  What does everyone else think?  Here is a picture of the kiosk in case that helps: http://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/bcls-kiosk  


Thanks much!


SDC Comments


Terry Blauvelt (MO)


I would say it does not meet the definition, since it does not have paid staff at the location.


Jamie McCanless (WI)


We’ve had that question here within the past week as well. One of our libraries has an unstaffed, automated location where patrons can pick up materials on hold (http://www.mpl.org/hours_locations/mpl_express.php). Like yours, it doesn’t fit the definition of 210.


In Wisconsin’s annual report, we collect a “Number of Other Public Service Outlets” in which this kiosk would be counted. Our definition is:


Other public service outlets are locations to which library materials are delivered for availability, but they have no permanent collection or no formal circulation to individuals is conducted by library staff. Do not report bookmobile stops. Include collections in preschools, nursing homes, jails, etc. Enter the total number of other regular public service outlet locations (not individual drop-offs).


That data is not included in what we submit for the PLS or in our annual Public Library Service Data. It is provided only so that libraries can document other types of locations.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-3939 or jamie.mccanless@dpi.wi.gov.



Scott Dermont (IA)


I agree. I don’t think a computer and a drop box should count as a branch. Maybe these kinds of services could be counted in other ways, and we have actually talked about that in the past.


Laura Stone (AZ)


I agree with Terry.


The definition of a branch is:


Separate quarters

Organized collection

Paid Staff

Regularly scheduled hours


While we don’t define the role of paid staff, I think it can be implied that paid staff is at the “separate quarters” during the regularly scheduled hours. And, I would question whether the kiosk is in a separate quarters – it’s more analogous to the bookshelf a library might stock in a community center or senior center.


We’ve talked before about adding a catchall category for kiosks and other remote services. Is this something to consider?


Susan Mark (WY)


"We’ve talked before about adding a catchall category for kiosks and other remote services. Is this something to consider?"


I would say this is indeed something to consider, and we've batted it around before. Libraries are increasingly finding new and innovative ways to deliver services that don't necessarily meet the definition of a branch. The problem we've run into is coming up with a good definition.

In our state, I don't know of any kiosks yet. However, in the past we collected "other" service outlets -- such things as whether they dropped off a rotating collection at the senior center.

If we can pin down exactly what we want to collect for "other remote services," I'm in. I think it's a good measure of our libraries getting out beyond their walls and serving their communities.


Cathy Van Hoy (OK)


Yes I’ve heard of the same thing for Erate purposes but according to our PLS definition a kiosk is not a branch and therefore, not eligible for Erate.


The kiosk is a great service! Hope the library will continue it even without Erate funds.


Katrice Stewart (FL)


We have several similar situations and do not allow them to be considered branches.  We site the Federal definition as the basis.  


We do have some shared-space libraries (maybe a separate room in a rural fire department location) that do meet the definitions that we do all. 


I DEFINITELY support capturing non-traditional methods of providing library services such as a kiosk or book vending machine.  I’m planning to propose something this upcoming year. 


Hope this helps!


Deb Burton (DE)


I agree that this would not be a branch by definition.  However, it does bring up an excellent discussion for the future.  This sort of modular or mobile unit may become more and more common over time.  Our libraries have grown far more flexible over the years - from stone buildings with books and card files to hubs of books, technology, and communication.  Just something to observe and see!  With enough activity, this could certainly be something to add for reporting someday.


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