Local trends: Story dispensers are popping up in public spaces

Stories and poems by local and international writers are being dispensed from robot-like literary kiosks in airports and libraries across the United States.

Michele Norris, who just happens to be a columnist for the Washington Post, tweeted a video of a literary kiosk that dispenses bite-size poems and short stories at an airport in Iowa. Norris compares it to ticker tape. But, the poems and stories are so short they fit on a tiny sheet of paper the size of one you get from a corner store cash register.

Norris said that a literary kiosk at the Cedar Rapids airport will spew out a poem or story in just seconds after you press a button. You “press a button and a short story will print out. The yellow button delivers a story or poem from a local Iowa writer. Black button = prose from a writer beyond those borders.”

I asked Norris if she had to feed the literary kiosk a credit card and she replied to let me know that it’s “Free!!!”

Interestingly, other cities across the United States are adding these literary kiosks for their customers. There have been sightings of similar kiosks at a Madison, Wisconsin airport, another one in Eugene, Oregon, and one at the East Lansing Public Library.

Spot a literary kiosk? Let us know in the comments below.

by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird

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