Books are eternal, stories are passed down from one generation to the next, and stories are one of the greatest sources of creativity and invention. This makes libraries essential to the development of a more knowledgeable community and a critical and active citizenry. How are libraries relevant today? Are libraries front page news? How do we activate our public spaces and make people value them more? Should we reinvent the library or can the architecture be evolved to make them more suitable for today’s societies?
The Book Stop Project refocuses on the core program of a library as a place for books and reading, a space for human interaction, and a platform for learning. In place of a huge monolithic building with an extensive collection, The Book Stop is a network of mobile spaces spread across the city each with garnering far more foot traffic than the typical library. In a modern society where no library or bookstore can beat the collection of books that are available online, The Book Stop refrains from trying to reinvent the purpose of libraries. It instead works on rethinking the physical architecture and the distribution system of libraries, emphasizing casual serendipity and ease of access.
The project is a pop-up public library network that explores how libraries need to evolve to engage with and attract contemporary users and promote reading in the next generation, as well as galvanize communities by creating community events where people can interact and share ideas with each other. The project is intended to serve three distinct functions with a social component, a research component, and a program prototype component.
The project maps out various public spaces throughout the city that has a high volume of pedestrian traffic. It serves as a redistribution point for old books, allowing the open and free sharing or transfer of ideas from one person to another. It's mobility allows it to be placed in the most underserved areas and allows it to reach a broader slice of the population. It moves from neighborhood to neighborhood mapping and responding to local issues and creates a platform for civic discussion and community development.
As a research tool, it serves as a data gathering center for the demand for public libraries in various neighborhoods. This allows planners and policy makers to determine where libraries can make the most impact and which communities can utilize them the most.
The Book Stop Project is a prototype that determines the role that libraries play in contemporary urban societies and the shape that they may take as society develops and grows. How have we changed in our interactions with libraries and what sort of network depth and breadth would be ideal for our cities? The project seeks to reinvent the place and space that a library embodies and not the platform itself which distributes books and encourages reading.
Imagined as a row of 7 books being taken from a shelf, this collection serves as a portal that allows visitors to enter into a world of books where ideas and possibilities are endless. The warping and surreal dancing geometry skews and distorts as viewed from varying angles. It is at once a square, a rectangle, and a trapezoid and allows the viewer a shifting perspective with its multiple transparencies and voids. The Book Stop Project is clad in perforated steel sheets that allow privacy yet provides security by making internal activities transparent and public. The form together with the material allows a sense of solidity and openness. It's openness encourages entry and interaction and brings together in close vicinity like-mined individuals and encourages them to interact with each other, while the solidity and durability of the steel components creates a sense of place and permanence.
The Book Stop is a bite-sized library for a culture that is being accustomed to consuming literature in easily digestible pieces. It turns this paradigm on its head by instead being a conveniently reachable tiny space that brings people the depth and richness of reading a book and flipping through its pages. The Book Stop is intended as a network of libraries that would be where the people are instead of being a library building. It is a gateway facility that allows frictionless access and facilitates a system of free and nonbinding sharing that reinforces the idea of books and knowledge as open and transparent. You walk in and you walk out. You give a book and get a book. It is a place and an idea. It is a mobile library for the mobile generation.