Outdoor Bookshelf, Berkeley CA

Outdoor bookshelf, Berkeley CA (Photo by Sam Davol.)

Boston Street Lab is pleased to introduce a group of graduate students from Simmons’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science who have volunteered to help us create a collection of books for our next project called the the UNI, a portable, open-air reading room set to launch in Boston this summer:

Lindsey Danis (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
Chelsea Gunn (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
Madeline Kelly (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
Molly McInerny (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
Helen Schubert (Simmons GSLIS ’13)

Hitting the ground running, this group is already at work on a vision and collection policy for the UNI, starting with research on existing mobile, open-air, and small/focused collections.

Their process also included an exercise in which each librarian quickly chose 20 books they would like to see in public space. This helped us generate new ideas, share our various interests, and also reveal possible bias or gaps in our thinking.

These librarians are thinking aggressively about new ways to bring books and learning to public space. We couldn’t be more excited to have them on board.

Below are some examples of open-air reading rooms they’ve been studying. Watch our site in the days ahead—we’ll be sharing more about their work.

Magdeburg, Germany, Open Air Library
Chicago, IL, Book Bike: a custom-built tricycle stocked with 200 lbs of free books
Library under Trees, Ljubljana Botanic Garden, Slovenia