There’s been a long debate over vending machines in schools, with critics pointing to the unhealthy snacks and sodas they contain as being poor choices for kids. But at Granger Elementary in West Valley City, Utah, a vending machine is dispensing something else entirely—books. Lots and lots of books.
ABC4 reported that the machine, the first of its kind in Utah and only the fourth in the country, can hold 300 to 400 books. School staff believe the novelty of the machine will help instill a love of reading in students, who can earn gold tokens and apply them toward different titles.
A similar set-up was unveiled in January at Umatilla Elementary School in Umatilla, Florida. Students there earn credits for doing homework and other tasks that can be redeemed for books in the machine. A vending machine is also in operation at Arthur O. Eve School 61 in Buffalo, New York.
Book vending machines might be a relatively new phenomenon in schools, but the idea has been around for a while. The Monkey’s Paw bookstore in Toronto houses a Biblio-Mat, a converted storage locker that dispenses a mystery book for $2.