A New Chapter for 24/7 Library-to-Go Kiosks

Three more Library-to-Go kiosks will be setting up shop in the County over the next several years bringing the County’s total to five, currently more than anywhere else in the country.

The County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to authorize the purchase of the additional kiosks with the goal of locating one in each supervisorial district. 

The first local kiosk opened December, 2013 at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa and was the first of its kind on the west coast. A second opened last May at the Bonsall Community Center.     

Unlike your typical library, each kiosk is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week yet it still has the full circulation functionality of a library. In other words, customers can browse, check out, return, renew and request materials free of charge.  

A 24/7 Library-to-Go kiosk measures 8 feet tall, 13 feet wide and 5 feet deep or about the size of a bus shelter and operates like a vending machine. Each one offers hundreds of the latest books, DVDs and audiobooks on site but customers can gain access to the entire library catalog, including Link+ and Circuit. The mini-library also offers Wi-Fi capability and is ADA accessible.

The kiosks are a great boon to areas that do not have easy access to a County library and are much cheaper than building a full-fledged library. The cost for each new kiosk is about $300,000 versus the millions it would cost for a new facility.    

The County is looking at possible sites in Encinitas for one of the new kiosks. Locations for the other two still need to be determined. Elsewhere in the country, two kiosks are located in Oklahoma, one in Milwaukee and one in Fresno.  

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact