A machine that hands you a book? Village School has one

Librarian Liz Pruett cuts the ceremonial ribbon off the new Bookwork Vending Machine. Photo by Libby O'Neill

Meet Inchy’s Bookworm vending machine – the latest edition to literacy at the Village School.

Village kicked off National Reading Week by unveiling Inchy to students on Monday. Credit the Friends of Marblehead Public Schools with finding and funding the sophisticated vending machine and its mission to reignite the love of reading for reading sake. 

Luciano Doyle grabs the book he selected from theInchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine.


The grant was written by librarian Liz Pruett based on the need to encourage reading for students who lost the love of reading during the pandemic.

“With COVID destroying school and family life for more than two years, we’ve seen many students reading life also became affected.  We all know that reading is vital for students in everyday life and as a school we are always looking for ways to motivate students to discover the world of books. The book vending machine will help support and encourage our readers by opening to a variety of different books that they can treasure and put in their own home library,” wrote Pruett in her grant. 

Resembling a candy or beverage vending machine, but stocked with books, Inchy is the star of Village’s book fair with three students randomly selected from each grade level given golden tokens. Moving forward the number of students selected will be chosen randomly based on the inventory of the books. 

 “They really wanted to encourage reading for reading’s sake. so, they didn’t want it to be tied with great behavior and things like that because they just want kids to read and love reading,” said Jen Dulac, member of the grants committee for the Friends of Marblehead Public Schools. 

 The machine was fully funded by the nonprofit with hopes that other bookworm machines can be adopted into the school’s budget for use in other town schools.

“Many times, the way that the grants sometimes go is that they are a prototype or a seed money to get something off the ground and then based on its success and how it goes it could very well go into other schools,” said Dulac. 

 To maintain students’ interest in books, Pruett suggests including a diverse range of books like non-fiction and proving books at different reading levels being inclusive to all readers as well as including books that “mirrors into once life or open doors into someone else’s life.”

“Through books, students can learn to understand what others are going through especially when books are about people from a different background, culture or family than they are,” added Pruett.  

 “The excitement for reading would be ongoing, we can revise the use of the bookworm as the goal is to foster an ongoing love of reading. We can include books that can be part of their all-school, or all-grades read as well as plan an event that connects to the books that we are reading. The possibilities are endless,” she wrote in her grant application.

From top left, Lily Laskowski, Lily Johnson, Olivia Petty, Ames Commoss, Sophia Lees, Olin Nellson, Lucian Migliozzi, and Sabine Doyle are the first students at Village School to use the new Bookworm Vending Machine.