Sunday, May 24, 2015

Christian Science Monitor: What are the world's most unusual libraries?

What are the world's most unusual libraries?

Improbable Libraries, by Alex Johnson, chronicles the lengths to which librarians the world over will go to serve their communities.

By Husna Haq

In Mongolia, Jambyn Dashdondog rides a camel to carry books to nomadic herding communities and remote parts of the Gobi desert.

In Argentina, artist and activist Raúl Lemesoff drives his “Weapon of Mass Instruction,” a 1979 Ford Falcon converted to look like an armored tank, to bring books to underserved communities.

And in Norway, "Epos," a floating library aboard an 80-foot-long ship travels the western coast of the Scandinavian country, providing residents in sparsely-populated districts access to thousands of books.

Johnson traces the ingenuity and creativity behind these libraries to Mary Titcomb, an originator in Library and Information Science, who in 1905 started started a horse-drawn library program in Maryland, considered one of the first mobile libraries.

"The square-shaped hardcover Improbable Libraries is definitely a labor of love for literature, and offers a global perspective on how essential access to books is in bringing communities vibrancy and education," writes arts news site Hyper Allergic. "Almost all these libraries are free, and without membership, and it’s the passion of the people involved that keeps them going."

Source: Christian Science Monitor

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