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VRE site will have library kiosk
Library plans kiosk at Spotsylvania VRE station

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Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 6/10/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

The Central Rappahannock Regional Library plans to install a self-serve kiosk similar to a Redbox DVD machine at the planned Virginia Railway Express station in Spotsylvania County.

The machine will probably be placed near where passengers get on and off the trains. It will have about 800 books available for immediate checkout, and allow users to place holds on library materials they want using a touch-screen catalog. Those materials will then be delivered to the kiosk for future pickup.

People will also be able to use the kiosk to get a library card, return materials and view information on library programs and resources.

"We wanted a way to have a presence that would serve the people of Spotsylvania," said CRRL Director Donna Cote. "It's a convenient way to reach people in their busy lives."

Cote said other libraries have pursued similar initiatives. She'd like to put more kiosks in other parts of the Fredericksburg area. The 1exact cost of the kiosk and who will pay for it is unclear. Kiosk prices range from $150,000 to $250,000. The library is partnering with Spotsylvania and Crossroads Station developers George Lester and Fitz Johnson.

VRE service is expected to start at the Crossroads Station development by late 2013 following the completion of a third track being built to the location near the intersection of U.S. 17 and Crossroads Parkway.

Johnson and Lester have applied to rezone 62 acres at Crossroads Station from industrial to planned development commercial. They might change the application to ask for mixed-use zoning if Spotsylvania's Board of Supervisors adds that zoning classification at its Tuesday meeting. A public hearing is scheduled that night on the matter.

Johnson said the mixed-use zoning classification would allow for more flexibility on how the development proceeds over time. Plans for Crossroads Station call for high-density commercial and residential development. The developers hope to attract professional-oriented employers that would convince Northern Virginia residents to commute south on new train routes.

That's a long-range development plan over decades, however. The first step will be building the roads, station and parking needed for when VRE service starts next year.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com