Though the libraries don’t really move they do pop up around the city in new locations. This is another great idea that has been promulgated in Bogotá: that of the (not sure what to call it) book stand. In an effort to promote literacy and reading among citizens the city has designed and operates mobile libraries. I only passed a couple of these but they were intriguing. This one was at the National University, not a place I would expect you need another library or would be looking to improve literacy. I knew that they had invested a lot of money and architectural knowledge in new library buildings. Penalosa, especially, sees these as public/shared space where people can come together and equity is improved.

They’ve also combined the library with the park, once again emphasizing this focus on public space and combining it with their literacy objectives. The sign reads “A stop for books, for parks.” The yellow panels open up when an attendant is there and there are books in there. It all works through the city library system so if you have a card issued at the main library you can get books from any of the stands, Gratis! (Free!). Also, not sure if you can return them anywhere or if you have to bring them back to the same stand. Colombian commenters, help me out here.

I like this idea and everytime I think about libraries I say to myself (aloud) “that’s so cool, you can just go there and get books for free, what a great idea.” But then I never go and get books. I look at material on the internet, download articles, or buy a magazine. That’s not even mentioning all the reading for school I have and never get to. So…. would this idea work here in the US, not to increase literacy but just to get people to pick up books more, which I guess is ‘increasing literacy’?

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