Short Story Dispenser Prints ‘Tales on the Go’ in City Hall

The Palo Alto City Library and Office of the City Manager have teamed up to bring an innovative way for the public to enjoy reading by sponsoring a Short Story kiosk. Just press a button and the automated Story Story Dispenser prints a 1, 3, or 5-minute short story on an eco-friendly, receipt-like scroll of paper. The kiosk is currently located to the right of the Customer Service counters in the Palo Alto City Hall lobby- a perfect spot for people to use while waiting in line or passing through.

The Short Story Dispenser comes from the French company Short Edition, which began placing the dispensers around France in 2015. Today there are more than 150 Short Story Dispensers worldwide. Besides ours here in Palo Alto, the dispenser has also caught the attention of film director Francis Ford Coppola, who installed one in his San Francisco based Zoetrope Café.

The Short Story Dispenser provides people with literary experiences in unexpected places outside a library or book store, and helps connect readers across countries and cultures by publishing contemporary short stories, free of charge. Short Edition currently has 80,000 stories submitted by over 8,000 authors and the company invites writers to submit original work to their publishing contests.

“The Short Story Dispenser is a great new literacy tool to discover authors,” said Library Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne. "The hope is it will play an important role in strengthening community, promoting reading and sourcing literature in a creative new way."

Next year, the Library plans to rotate the unit at various venues in the City where people gather or wait for services and events to begin. Like a best seller, you are invited to come “check it out”!


For more information about the Short Story Dispenser, please visit the publisher’s website at