Self-serve books: New library kiosk opens in Encinitas

The new San Diego County Library kiosk in Encinitas.
(Karen Billing)

San Diego County has opened a new public library in Encinitas in the unique form of a self-serve kiosk about the size of a bus shelter that holds hundreds of the latest books and downloadable audiobooks.

The new “mini library” is located outside of the San Diego County Credit Union branch at 501 N. El Camino Real. The kiosk opened to readers after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 6.

“Today is about bringing books closer to where people live — and doing it on a scale that is fast, efficient, and can be replicated throughout the County,” said Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer in a news release. “With this 24/7 library kiosk, a whole new neighborhood can enjoy the benefits of a library just a few steps away from their home.”

The kiosk operates like a vending machine and people can browse and check out the entire library catalog 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said the library to go has been in the making for six years.

“We know in Encinitas we have two world-class libraries already,” Blakespear said. “The Cardiff Library and Encinitas Library are tremendous magnets and they’re beautiful facilities, they provide so much information to people. And here we are expanding what we are offering to our community by offering this kiosk right along our El Camino Real corridor.”

The county now offers five kiosks throughout the region with other locations in Kearny Mesa, Bonsall, Boulevard and Chula Vista. For more information on the County Library, visit