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Arts & Culture

New Machine at Akron Children's Hospital Dispenses Stories

photo of Pam Hickson-Stevenson, Grace Wakulchik
Akron Summit County Public Library mascot "Paws" displays the first story from the new dispenser at Akron Children's Hospital to hospital President Grace Wakulchik (right) and library Director Pam Hickson-Stevenson.

The Akron Summit-County Public Library is partnering with the Knight Foundation to bring short stories to Akron Children’s Hospital.

Sounding like a cash register, the French-made short story dispenser is now in the waiting room at the hospital’s surgical center.

The machine installed by the library prints out short stories on receipt paper for free. Users can choose a story of any type or one for kids.

Brandon Knoderer, of Canton, was the first person to use the machine.

“My son, he actually enjoyed it. He sat right here and listened, and we read it together," he said. "I think it’s a great idea that they came up with, and I hope it helps somebody in the future.”

Library Director Pam Hickson-Stevenson said the dispenser is one example of using technology to advance the library’s mission.

“We know that we can still – and we believe always – will be able to play a vital role in the community," she said. "We felt it was growing increasingly important to go beyond the walls, meet people where they are in order to provide the services that library can provide.”

The library is also using the Knight Foundation grant to put a short story machine at the Metro RTA hub near downtown Akron and another at Akron-Canton Airport.