In Japan, public libraries embrace digital tech with NFCs

In a world of ebooks and Wikipedia, the role of physical book collections is diminishing, and we’ve even seen the launch of entirely digital public libraries such as the BiblioTech in Texas. Now the Hanno City Library in Japan is integrating its collection with digital tech, using NFCs to help visitors more easily browse the contents of each shelf. READ MORE…

Platform makes art buying and research easier

Art buying is no longer confined to auction, and startups such as Eye Buy Art are already making original pieces affordable for the average consumer. Providing a similar platform for collectors to purchase world renowned art, Art.sy is also hoping to catalog pieces online to give anyone access to information about them. READ MORE…

In Austria, virtual library contained in public QR code stickers

Spain has already tried to encourage its citizens to regularly pick up a book with its National Reading Plan project which involved adding QR codes that linked to the first chapters of books on its public trains. Now the Austrian city of Klagenfurt has unveiled its own plan with Projekt Ingeborg, which aims to provide residents with a virtual library through QR code stickers placed around the municipality. READ MORE...

Slovenian library creates surprise book packs based on genre

Last year we saw both people and dogs loaned out by libraries, but it would seem there’s still plenty that can still be done with books as well. Aiming to introduce more fun into library loaning, The National and University Library of Slovenia recently ran a program offering mystery packs of books to their customers. READ MORE…

Brazilian tricycle distributes books to disadvantaged communities

Collecting and distributing books to disadvantaged areas of society can present logistical problems, but the Institute of Green Mobility in Brazil have found a simple solution with Bicicloteca, a tricycle adapted to function as a mobile library. READ MORE…

Public library will lend out people as ‘living books’

A new public library soon to open in Surrey, B.C., will lend out human beings as well as more traditional media as a way to supplement books with local human expertise. READ MORE…

Phone box transformed into informal book exchange

As economic pressures have threatened public libraries with closure from lack of funds, the rise of mobile telecoms has rendered public phone boxes effectively redundant. Making the best of two seemingly unrelated developments, the UK-based PhoneBoox has converted a leftover phone box into an informal book exchange for the community. READ MORE…

The PhoneBoox book exchange from James Econs on Vimeo.

Fans of ShelvAR and Bookscan, this one’s for you! Is this the future of libraries?

An $81 million library opened Monday at the University of Chicago.

And there’s not a book in sight.

Designed by architect Helmut Jahn, the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library provides 180 seats for students and faculty to study under a glass dome constructed from 691 panels, none of them exactly the same shape. The library also expands digitization and conservation operations for the university’s collections, which include a piece of a Gutenberg Bible and books printed on papyrus, ancient Egypt’s version of paper.

Fifty feet below ground on the Hyde Park campus, a system of five automated cranes retrieves and stores volumes that are sorted according to book size, not content. The new library has room for 3.5 million volumes in the underground area, which is not accessible to anyone but select library staff.

Augmented reality app helps libraries keep track of books

Library books that have been shelved incorrectly are a constant cause of frustration for those searching for a specific text, and rearranging them is constant chore for library staff. Hoping to make the task a little easier for librarians everywhere, ShelvAR is an augmented reality app for Android devices that’s designed to help library workers scan books to identify and re-shelve those that were put in the wrong spot. READ MORE…