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Locating Libraries in Metro Stations, Stockholm.

Inauguration day of “T-Sture”, the new Metro Library at Stureplan, Stockholm from Åke Nygren.

Here’s a glimpse of what appears to be the opening of a new library in a Metro Station in Stockholm. (Note the fresh flowers, cafe area, and acrobats.)

We’ve been exploring the concept of “library outposts,” a term which we trace to Nate Hill, Head Librarian of the Greenpoint Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and advisor to the Storefront Library Project. In Sweden, the library outpost idea seems to be well underway in the form of mini-branch libraries in Metro stations, and also in the form of “Bookomatics,” which are ATM-like devices which distribute books to library card holders. A version of these machines has arrived in California, under the catchy name “Library-a-Go-Go.”

As we think about how a public library program can be adapted to a vacant storefront in Boston, we’re keeping an eye on other adaptations already underway. In the case of the Stockholm’s Metro Libraries, we’re intrigued by the emphasis on the traditional core of the library program—the circulation of books. More on Sweden’s “underground” libraries from intelligentnaivety.com and monocle.com.

Update: here are some additional photos I took on a visit in 2010:

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