I know this has been posted elsewhere, but it is such a great idea that it deserves plenty of coverage. A prototype download station, called TANK U, was presented at a November seminar in the Netherlands by Edo Postma of ProBiblio and Eppo van Nispen tot Sevenaer (Delft Public Library).
TANK U is a physical station that downloads information onto mobile phones. After selecting the content requested, the data is transferred to the mobile phone using Bluetooth and is immediately ready for use. The content could consist of music, e-books, film trailers, audio books, lists of new additions in the library, college lectures and audio tours. The content is selected by the library and is meant to give the customer an idea of what the library has to offer.
I see it now. Download vending machines are placed outside of lecture halls. Audio/video of the lectures is uploaded into the machine in real time and available for immediate download. Students capture the content on their Bluetooth devices without needing to find a network connection.
What a great idea!
As I have been thinking about being Lorcan Dempsey's "in the flow" I have been limiting myself to the online world. This changes my thinking a bit. This type of technology puts the library into a customer's physical flow. There are plenty of places where potential library customers people gather or wait, such as in hospital waiting rooms. Such kiosks not only give another distribution point, but provides a great deal of marketing exposure for the library.
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