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The library at the new Robert Crown Community Center will offer a vending machine that patrons can use to check out laptop computers for use in the building, assuming Evanston aldermen approve the $27,390 purchase Monday night.

The vending machine from D-Tech International USA distributor Murphy Security Solutions will hold a dozen devices — a mix of Dell laptops and Chromebooks.

Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons says any visitor with a valid library card will be able to check out one of the machines at any time the Crown Center is open.

She plans to locate the machine just off he building’s main lobby near the branch library entrance.

Library vending machines for computers have been around  for several years and have been used at locations ranging from Drexel University in Philadelphia and  Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan to the San Francisco Public Library.

The locker system includes equipment to recharge the computers while they’re waiting to be checked out.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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