International News Desk – At Home: Libraries on the Go – In Foreign News: Bubbles Under the Sea

International News Desk – At Home: Libraries on the Go – In Foreign News: Bubbles Under the Sea

At Home: Libraries on the Go

Is a trip to the library impossible with your heavy schedule? In the future, there may be a more convenient way to obtain a copy of the latest bestseller: automated book lending machines.

As the CBC reports, the city of Toronto hopes to set up its first ?library ?vending machine?? at Union Station, the city transit system’s busiest hub.

The touch screen-based interface will be user-friendly, allowing library patrons to ?swipe their library cards, check out the items they are interested in and return them to the kiosk by the due date.?

The project was initiated by the Toronto Public Library, which is looking forward to the community-wide benefits such an installation will allow. According to the Toronto Public Library’s director of branch libraries Anne Bailey, the kiosk’s purpose is not solely the convenience of borrowers. ?What it does is . . . allows you to make library materials more available to audiences and areas where you might not be able to put in a library branch,? Bailey told reporters, adding that the kiosk ?will also introduce new people to the library.?

But if you prefer a more traditional browsing experience, don’t worry; bricks and mortar libraries aren’t going anywhere. ?A kiosk like this doesn’t offer a range of services like a full branch does,? Bailey told reporters.

The kiosk should begin serving library patrons in 2012.

In Foreign News: Bubbles Under the Sea

A group of Swedish divers recently had reason to celebrate their discovery of a long-sunken ship. And what better way to do so than by opening a bottle of 200-year-old champagne found far below the surface of the Baltic Sea?

As USA Today reports, the shipwreck, located in the Baltic Sea, is believed to contain ?[a]bout 30 bottles.? The divers brought one of the bottles to the surface to test?and to enjoy.

Although the champagne’s age is still being verified by various lab tests, diving instructor Christian Ekstrom, who has consulted experts, is ?confident? that the bottles date from the 1780s. If Ekstrom is correct, the newly-discovered bottles will have the distinction of containing the ?the world’s oldest drinkable champagne.?

Dark and cool, the deep sea can often make ?near-perfect storage conditions.? As wine expert Carl-Jan Granqvist told reporters, ?If It’s the right atmosphere outside, and inside the bottle the cork is kept dry in the middle; it keeps itself.?

How does centuries-old champagne taste? As Ekstrom told reporters, it was ?fantastic,? adding that the taste was ?very sweet . . . with a tobacco taste and oak.?

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