For immediate release | March 22, 2018

Public Library Association brings Short Story Dispensers to U.S. public libraries

Knight Foundation funds initiative with Public Library Association and publisher Short Edition to foster creative community connections

PHILADELPHIA – Today, at the Public Library Association’s (PLA) 2018 conference, PLA announced a new partnership with community publisher Short Edition to promote reading and literary joy through public libraries in four U.S. communities. The joint project also will encourage diverse writers to share their work through Short Edition’s digital content platform while promoting library programs and services for readers and writers of all ages.

Local libraries will determine placement and partners for launch in coming months. The following libraries have been selected to participate in the new initiative, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:

Readers can print one-, three-, or five-minute stories from a range of genres at the touch of a button via the Short Story Dispenser. The kiosks will be branded to the libraries, enabling them to further their reach and visibility, as well as connect each story back to the full power of their collections and programs. This program also marks the launch of a new digital platform ( for sharing new literary creations.

“Public libraries have long been at the forefront of promoting and supporting literacy, literature and the joy of reading,” explains PLA President Pam Sandlian Smith. “More recently, libraries are expanding programs and services that encourage and support creative community expression through digital media labs, writing programs and 3-D printing.”

"Libraries have an essential role to play in connecting the community and building a rich civic infrastructure. This program helps to further that goal, using storytelling as an impetus to inform people and attract new audiences," adds George Abbott, Knight Foundation director for community and national initiatives.

The Short Story Dispensers were first launched in France in 2015 by the startup company Short Edition, which designed and created the dispenser to bring literature to unexpected places like airports, train stations, shopping centers, and hospitals.

"We believe in the power of literature to help people thrive, find their personal balance and place in society. That’s why Short Edition is very proud to start working alongside the Knight Foundation and PLA to promote literature in the United States,” says Christophe Sibieude, co-founder of Short Edition. “Our aim is to promote and propel reading via Short Story Dispensers connected to our community publishing platform.”

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About the Public Library Association

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About Short Edition

The French startup Short Edition was created in 2011. Since then it has published 17 00 authors, generated more than 20 million readings and has more than 200,000 subscribers on its collaborative platform (available on all types of devices). Short Edition’s aim is to adapt literature to the modern world by combining short stories, community and technology.

Related Links

PLA Short Story Dispenser Initiative

Short Edition

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


Macey Morales


Public Awareness Office (PAO)