‘Media jukebox’ to lure youngsters to libraries

Forget books. In an attempt to lure today's youth into Swedish libraries, librarians are turning to a new 'media jukebox'.

The jukebox, loaded with downloadable music, audio books, and movies is the latest attempt to modernize libraries.

Downloads from libraries’ Internet system hasn’t been as successful as wished. Several libraries around the country are investing in a new jukebox, which will be presented later this month during a library expo in southern Sweden.

“I know that we could deliver 25 today, but we won’t be able to meet a very large volume at one time,” said Christer Andersson, spokesman at Förlag Ett, the company behind the new jukebox, according to Svenska Dagbladet. “We will have 13 ready within a few weeks to go out to libraries around the country.”

It has taken a year and a half to get the system ready. The biggest problem was preventing pirating of the borrowed material. The solution was to have the media files become inactive after a certain amount of time.

“The audio books, for example, will become inactive and become unusable after three to four weeks, since that is the typical borrowing time,” said Andersson.

Dieselverkstaden’s library in Nacka is one of the 13 libraries that ordered a media jukebox.

“We want to show the future,” said Margareta Swanelid, an employee at the Nacka library.

Previous attempts to make music available on the Internet were not well received. Now, with the new media box, guests just load their media player at the library.

“We see our library as a meeting place,” Swanelid said. Here, there is a café, restaurant and other cultural institutions in the area. It is an experience to come here.”

Andersson did not say how much one of his media jukeboxes would cost, but he said it was not much more expensive than buying the films and audio books.

“It isn’t so expensive when you consider what you get,” Andersson said.