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.
Here’s a winner of the Pimp My Book Cart competition
Being essentially mobile, book trolleys have been effectively disguised as vehicles.
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.
Libraries are the place where ideas begin. Many of the best ideas, artistic leaps, inventions and breakthroughs have been inspired by the contents of public libraries and yet, like many of the vital contributions that the library makes to the wider community, the effect is unseen so how could that link be made visible?
Amazon’s customer reviews and suggestions are widely used and can be quite helpful if taken in balance. However, because of the way people often make book purchases, the adjacencies (people who bought this also bought….) don’t always reflect personal reading tastes.
Public art is often commissioned for public libraries. Large library buildings offer the urban space to make a big statement at the entrance or in the foyer. The art has to live up to the expectations of the City – they are very prestigious and very visible.
"Mechanical books should look like ordinary books. Their success is to be measured by the ingenuity with which their bookish format conceals unbookish characteristics." - Iona and Peter Opie
Readers often say that they love the scent of old books. "A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness” is how an international team of chemists describes the particular smell of decaying tomes.
Libraries of one kind and another seem to be popping up everywhere. They are creative reactions to library closures and lack of funds and also new routes and locations for book sharing.