Alternative/mobile/unexpected libraries

Hi, all. So I recently read this article and with some encouragement from @Brendan thought it might be of interest to others or an interesting jumping off point to discover more stuff like it!

It’s called “bokbaten” and it’s a library on boat that happens twice a year in Sweden, the boat goes around and people can check out books and/or return books. It’s something I would really like to see, perhaps I will try to time a vacation a Sweden to be able to experience it.

Does anyone know of other things like this? I’d like enjoy hearing about more alternative/mobile/unexpected libraries. Has anyone by chance experienced the bokbaten?

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This is way cool! I’m looking through all my library-related bookmarks and finding a bunch of interesting alternative / independent / experimental libraries.

Closest that comes to mind re: this sort of roving library, it seems many libraries offer some kind of “bookmobile” service, usually a van/bus sort of thing…not all that unexpected though; I’d love to learn about other weird / novel ones along similar lines.

I also found a bunch of online library projects (or hybrid online/offline) that sort of relate, but I think I’ll save those for a future post, as I found plenty that do exist in physical form! —

  • The Sorted Library, an independently run collection where “visitors are invited to create a miniature library around a topic or theme of their choosing by selecting three to five books and filling out a card to explain how each title fits into their collection”. More info in this article.

  • Reanimation Library, another super cool independent collection, referred to as a “presence library”, of all kinds of amazing image/visual-heavy books. It’s lived in a variety of NYC spaces over the years, from Proteus Gowanus to the Queens Museum to Pioneer Works. In hibernation at the moment, hopefully it finds a permanent home… Great example of library as art project. Very cool website.

  • The Cybernetics Library, an “interdisciplinary browsing library that re-contextualizes the expansive history of cybernetic thought and practice.” Many hundreds of books, an awesome and expansive collection spanning art, tech, design, theory, and the edges between all these genres and many more. See also this great case study on the Arena blog about the project!

  • Future Library, a super interesting long-term art / publishing project involving a forest in Norway that, in one hundred years, will be the source of paper for printing one hundred books, contributed one per year to the project until the year 2114. Seems off to a good start with some big name authors contributing; the website is fun to explore and has more detail about the authors taking part so far.