HARLINGEN — Library card owners of this city will soon be able to check out, return and pick up reserved materials at any time thanks to a new amenity.

The City of Harlingen is going to have a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Nov. 8 to mark the official opening of its new 24-hour Automated Library.

The ceremony is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at Lon C. Hill Destination Park, located at 1217 Fair Park Blvd.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to expand literacy access to more people in the community,” Assistant Library Director Molly Walter said. “We’re also really grateful for the partnership that we’ve had with parks and the city and being able to locate the kiosk in a place that has so much accessibility to families in the community.”

The 24-hour library kiosk will be located next to the playground at the Lon C. Hill Destination Park and will be stocked with fiction and nonfiction titles for readers of all ages.

Readers will also have the option of placing library materials on reserve through their library account for pickup at the kiosk.

Visitors are able to select from about 340 books by scanning their library card and entering their password.

After clicking “check out,” users will be prompted to key in the item number, and a drawer will dispense the book from the kiosk. The process for returning materials is similar. Users are asked to follow the prompts after selecting “return” on the menu.

According to city officials, Harlingen will be home to the state’s first automated 24-hour library by Envisionware, which is a provider of self-service and library efficiency solutions.

The kiosk was funded through a $400,000 Library Services for Border Cities grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) to expand access to library services to people in underserved areas.

According to city officials, TSLAC received funding for the grant through the Texas State Legislature thanks to Representative Oscar Longoria.

Library cards are free and can be obtained by visiting the Harlingen Public Library, located at 410 ‘76 Drive.

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information about the library, visit www.harlingenlibrary.org.