Thanks to a new kiosk installed earlier this school year, one Olentangy middle school now considers itself a miniature branch of the Delaware County District Library.

Thanks to a new kiosk installed earlier this school year, one Olentangy middle school now considers itself a miniature branch of the Delaware County District Library.

Mary Burkey, librarian at Olentangy Liberty Middle School, said she got the idea to install an e-book and audiobook kiosk after attending a digital-media conference last year. The kiosk features a touch-screen monitor that allows the user to browse a library's collection of digital works and request a link to download titles.

"I was like, this would be perfect in my library -- to be able to have basically a little mini-branch of the public library here in my school library," she said.

Burkey submitted a grant application this spring to the Olentangy Education Foundation, which approved the $1,850 project. The "Books to Go" kiosk then was installed in the school's library in November and connected by the Delaware County District Library to the Ohio Digital Library collection, which contains 81,461 titles.

The collection includes audiobooks, e-books, films and music.

To download material through the kiosk, students need a Delaware County District Library card and a free app on their mobile device from the kiosk's software developer. Library members can download up to 10 titles and three periodicals at once, for varying lengths of time.

The district does not anticipate any ongoing costs related to the kiosk.

Burkey said Delaware County District Library officials were "thrilled" by the opportunity to reach out to students in another way.

The collection already was available to students -- and any Delaware County resident with a library card -- before the kiosk was installed. However, the kiosk allows students to browse and preview materials more easily on a large screen.

It also can send a direct link to students' mobile devices after they select an item to download.

"It's quicker, it's easier and it's more attractive" than browsing on a computer or mobile device, Burkey said.

Anna Pohlman, a seventh-grader at the school, said she liked how quickly she could browse through books on the kiosk. She said downloading an e-book often is a welcome alternative to lugging a hefty backpack around.

"You can read it anywhere, and if you want to take it anywhere you just have to bring your phone," she said.

Matt Mitchell, a seventh-grader, said walking down to the school library was more convenient than getting a ride to a branch of the Delaware County District Library.

"It's really unique," he said of the kiosk. "I haven't seen anything like it before."

Burkey said Olentangy Liberty Middle School is the first school in the district and, possibly, central Ohio to install a digital-media kiosk.

"Very few libraries in the entire country have this kind of setup," she said.

Burkey said the student reaction to the kiosk has been "very positive," but the district has not been tracking the number of students who use the device.