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While it's not all that new for libraries to purchase self service technology, I think it speaks to the amount of money thrown around on such things when CNN Money actually takes notice of it.
In a $700,000 deal with Sentry Technology the Calgary Public Library purchased 38 QuickCheck units for use in their facilities. The article is only a press release but it gives some idea of how much libraries are willing to spend in an effort to enhance the speed of checking out.