The ELTE University Library and Archives officially opened its new book vending machine to students on the 4th of December 2023 in the lobby of the Library Palace.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Péter Sziklai, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, welcomed the inauguration of the first ELTE book vending machine as another milestone in the development of the ELTE University Library and Archives. Modern technical innovations play an important role in the service, demonstrating openness to change and adaptation to technological advances. The new book check-out facility also demonstrates the University Library's commitment to the continuous expansion of its services to serve the university community.
The Director General of the ELTE University Library and Archives, Dr. Kulcsár Szabó Ernőné Gombos Annamária, emphasized at the opening ceremony that the library's core values include openness to innovation and change in order to provide free access to information. In the last semester, with the support of the Student Union, the library’s opening hours were increased in the framework of a pilot project, which is now being maintained and extended to the end of the autumn semester and almost the entire examination period, from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 10 pm, and on Saturdays between 10 am and 10 pm.
The library aims to provide wider access by increasing the purchase of electronic literature, extending opening hours and providing automated solutions to enable students to access scientific textbooks more quickly and conveniently. The web application, the self-checkout machine, the free self-service scanning and printing all serve this purpose, including the new book acceptance machine that has just been officially inaugurated. These services are available from 7 a.m. on opening days.
The technical innovations introduced are meeting student demand, with last year's visitor numbers up 18% on the pre-pandemic peak year of 2019, and this year's numbers in the first 10 months of the year is already 22% higher than last year.
Listening to the needs of students is essential to improving library services, and the library will continue to strive to meet the needs of university citizens and readers. Thanking the ELTE Student Union for its cooperative support, the opening ceremony ended with the presentation of the book gifts hidden in the vending machines.