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Pushing the book cart

Library book trolleys - book carts in the US – come in a variety of styles but the majority do one thing but nothing much else. Great for moving a load of books from A to B – they are large, cumbersome and inflexible when not in use.

Libraries usually lack space, so empty trolleys lurk in dark corners, sulk on the ends of bays or glare balefully out of the windows and snag passing trousers. They lend a neglected, empty air to any library space, however glamorous. When in need of a solution, the web, as always, provides plenty of project ideas.

Library Cart: Here’s a winner of the Pimp My Book Cart competition
Here’s a winner of the Pimp My Book Cart competition

Library Cart: A truly scary animal cover to disguise an empty cart.
And a truly scary animal cover to disguise an empty cart.

Library Cart: A design idea created by some modern Merry Pranksters who have forgotten the books.
Here’s a design idea created by some modern Merry Pranksters who have forgotten the books.

Library Cart: A  stripped-down and rebuilt version is here used in an enterprising approach to bring a new audience to the library
A stripped-down and rebuilt version is here used in an enterprising approach to bring a new audience to the library.

Library Cart: The German book cart of the future – according to a youth library group -  needs a robotic arm for re-shelving and a rear view mirror.
The German book cart of the future – according to a youth library group - needs a robotic arm for re-shelving and a rear view mirror.

Being essentially mobile, book trolleys have been effectively disguised as vehicles.

Library Cart: A neat mini me mobile
A neat mini me mobile

Library Cart: A police bike Library Cart: A police car with working lights
A police car with working lights

Library Cart: book trolley on rails
Some are truly mobile and work as pop-up libraries in themselves

Library Cart: book cart on bike wheels
Some are truly mobile and work as pop-up libraries in themselves

Library returns/book trolly - use the cart as a way to display the returned books so it never is empty
Of course you could just use the cart as a way to display the returned books so it never is empty.

if you go too deep searching for ideas on the web you will discover things that will haunt your dreams, and not in a good way
But, be warned, if you go too deep searching for ideas on the web you will discover things that will haunt your dreams, and not in a good way.

For sheer entertainment value, explore the Book Cart Drill Teams in the USA
For sheer entertainment value, explore the Book Cart Drill Teams in the USA. Watch the videos of synchronised waving, sedate twirling and wobbly reversing.

Library book cart precision drill team manual
There’s a handbook for the beginner.

Stray shopping carts book
You might decide that your library has far too many trolleys. No doubt you are far too responsible a citizen to release them into the wild. However, should you ever spot a dumped cart you could learn a lot from a study that has been made of a related beast. ‘The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A guide to field identification’ by Julian Montague looks at the aesthetic impulse behind abandoning carts. It’s an attempt to explore the complex relationship between landscape and cart. Enjoy.

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