Tuesday, February 5

10E2113: Awesome Box at the SPL

"The Somerville Public Library, in a partnership with the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, is launching the "Awesome Box" project at all three library branches in early February. The first municipal partnership of its kind, the "Awesome Box" will allow patrons to share "awesome" book suggestions with fellow readers by depositing checked books into the Box rather than into the regular "Returns" bin. "Awesome" books will be linked to a website for community members to learn about and explore potential book titles." - City of Somerville
This set my geekery meter to 11 - very v neat. Psyched that the Somerville Public Library (and thx Harvard LIL) released this real-world/online mix. It is basically taking people's habit of browsing the return/circulation carts in the library (i.e. looking at what others just returned as a stamp of approval) and cranking it way up. Big smile here...


randall said...

As someone who loves libraries almost as much as you, I'm all for anything that modernizes libraries and makes them more relevant in this day and age, but I'm not quite sure I understand the point of this. I mean, I get it in the general sense, but it seems to me that this is kind of going to be an echo chamber.

I may be wrong, but I'm willing to bet that the majority of any library's circulation, especially one in an urban area is going to be comprised of already vetted classics along a hefty portion of "new releases."

I feel like if you're looking for something more obscure, you've already committed yourself to finding it. I'll use as my examples Foxfire Books, books on the geology of the Hudson River Valley, and American folk art, all that I find awesome, but also stuff I understand has a limited range.

Though I suppose that if it turns one person on to something that they may have otherwise overlooked then it has served its purpose.

Just my $.02

james at 10engines said...

hear you - but like your last line.