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What's in the box: Penn State brings Short Edition reading dispensers to campus

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Short Edition Stories 1

Najla Robinson (junior- architectural engineering) pulls a printed short story from the Short Edition dispenser in the Paterno Library on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Students looking for a quick read on the way to class may be in luck. 

Penn State became the first educational institution in the world to collaborate with Short Edition, a French-based company that produces dispensers to print free short stories.

The goal of the partnership is to foster discussion on creative story-telling and promote the arts and humanities.

There are four dispensers in Penn State's libraries, as well as one downtown at the Schlow Library.

The other two dispensers are in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library in Stuckeman Building and the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library in Davey Lab.

Since being installed on May 9, the dispensers at the university's main libraries have printed over 1,000 stories, according to Jill Shockey, Manager of Public Relations and Marketing for Penn State Libraries. 

"My initial reaction was, wow," said Shockey of so many stories being printed with many students home for the summer. "Ultimately we hope this sparks dialogue between reader and author." 

Penn State's recent collaboration with the Short Edition will facilitate further conversation around creative writing pieces on a custom website.

“We see the partnership with Short Edition as the first step toward a growing number of thoughtful and creative exchanges, beginning with the installation of Short Edition dispensers around the University Park campus and the development of the online content management platform," said Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, according to a press release.

Short Edition dispensers allow readers to request a one, three, or five-minute story, which is then printed on a paper as wide as a typical receipt.

Penn State students, faculty, staff or community members will soon be able to submit their own work for print.

Since launching in 2011, Short Edition has published over 13 million pieces of work, written by contributing amateur writers. 

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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