Nation's First 24-Hour Automated Library To Open In Norman, OK

Automated Library

The country's first 24-Hour automatic library will soon open in Norman, OK—home to the University of Oklahoma, among other things. According to Oklahoma City news channel KFOR, the small, canopy-like structure was installed at the Irving Recreational Center and will serve as an eastern arm for the Pioneer Library System

The system works pretty much like a Redbox machine, except you use your library card, rather than a credit card, to check out books, movies and CDs. According to The Norman Transcript, each library will house about 400 combined items. Users can also pay fines with credit cards, return books, and pick up reserved items. 

Lisa Wells, assistant director for Library Services, had this to say:

There are a lot of installations in China. But this is the first United States installation. We were very excited to be first to bring it to Oklahoma, and more importantly, the city of Norman.

Mike Monk, CEO of EnvisionWare (the company that manufactured the installation), was excited to see his project come to fruition:

Many of my employees said this was my birthday present because that was yesterday, and it was bringing this system to life yesterday for the first time in America after 2 and ½ years of research and development.

A west-side satellite is also in the works, and both automated libraries will be open to the public on November 1st.

Pretty cool, yeah? I'm all for library expansion and greater access to books and media, even if it means I don't get to roam the stacks. What do you think?

Christopher Shultz

News by Christopher Shultz

Christopher Shultz writes weird, dark fiction. His stories have appeared both online and in print, including most recently in Apex Magazinefreeze frame flash fiction and Grievous Angel. In addition to LitReactor, he has also written for Ranker.comCultured Vultures and At times, he dabbles in digital art and photography. Christopher lives in Oklahoma City with his fiancée Lauren and their two mostly well-behaved cats. More info at

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Utah's picture
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry October 18, 2013 - 10:00am

Holy crap, that's awesome.  And considering that Norman is my favorite town, and also the home of J. David Osborne, it's just doubly cool.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 18, 2013 - 4:09pm

As someone who works night shift I think this is a lovely idea.

cshultz81's picture
cshultz81 from Oklahoma is reading Best Horror of the Year Volume 8 October 19, 2013 - 10:25pm

Yes, I forgot J. David lives there. I didn't mean to be glib about Norman's niceness. There's plenty of cool stuff there--Guestroom Records, a kick-ass Hastings with plenty of Doctor Who swag, my Aunt Dana. What more do you want?

Amanda Roberts's picture
Amanda Roberts from Hunan, China is reading American Gods October 21, 2013 - 4:10am

This is pretty cool, but I wonder where these facilities are in China. I haven't seen one and even regular libraries are few and far between. I think "a lot of installations" is probably an exaggeration. 

Utah's picture
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry October 23, 2013 - 8:58am

cshultz,  def never accused you of glibness!




This is now perhaps the lamest I have ever felt.