Enterprising people the world over are interested in dissemination of knowledge and making it free. They have thought of novel and inspiring means to do so. Library, being a repository of knowledge, has attracted many such entrepreneurs of knowledge. This blog takes you around a few interesting libraries of the world.
Almost all of them are tiny but contain a big idea.
LIBRARY ON A DESERT SHIP
The Kenya Library Service operates a fleet of Camels which carry library services to remote locations and serves nomadic communities. It has been operating since 1985 and has served thousands at a fraction of the cost it would have taken to engage vehicles. The so called developing countries are not short of ideas!
LIBRARY ON A REAL SHIP
Norway has a string of islands in its territory. Islands in its fjords are isolated and have very few inhabitants. A small ship/boat named EPOS serves 250 such islands. Epos has over 4000 books and audio books and also comes with a captain, a couple librarians, a cook and one or two entertainers. Entertainment could be in the form of clowns, puppet shows, circus acts and visits from writers. Its visit to the island is awaited by the kids and seniors alike.
LIBRARY IN A BATTLE TANK
The picture you see below is a killer vehicle that inspired fear as it was used to kill anti communists by the ruling govt in Argentina years ago. An artist by the name of Raul Lemesoff decided to convert this fearsome vehicle to a harbinger of knowledge by stocking it with about 1000 books. He moves around in it and stops near cafes, road side vends and the like , letting the people enjoy reading.
LIBRARY IN TREE
Libraries always had & will always play an important role in education of society. This series of blogs brings to you stories of a few interesting libraries in the world. This blog, the first in its series, talks about a little library in the USA. Sharalee Armitage Howard, a librarian at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library in Idaho, had to cut a 110 years old diseased Cottonwood Tree in front of her house, down, for safety reasons. Hating to lose this monument, she, a lover of nature, and Librarian by profession, converted it to a Library. Read on about it.
This great cottonwood tree had stood in front of her house for more than a century. Over the years, it had developed a strong, wide trunk. Although the rest of the tree was diseased, Howard decided to leave the base of the tree in situ, and carve it into a small receptacle for books.
Transforming the ancient trunk into a receptacle for knowledge and learning was a fitting tribute to the beauty and long life of this beautiful tree. Howard had artistic skills and she put it to use to design this beautiful temple of knowledge and learning.
The tree stump is elaborately carved, with a wooden ‘roof’, and a set of stone steps leading up to the green, painted door. A warm, inviting light means that the library attracts attention from the street, and encourages local residents to come and explore it.
The tree is also decorated with wooden panels that feature the names of some of Howard’s favorite books, as well as some classics from American literature
This creative and unusual project is certainly a wonderful after life for the majestic tree that once stood outside Howard’s house.
Let us all encourage individuals with such quirky and fun ideas. They make the world worth living in.
A CHAI WALLAH’s LIBRARY
America has its “from log cabin to the white house” and India has its honourable Prime Minister tracing his origins to modest beginnings as tea seller. Here is an unsung hero as a “chai wallah”-a Librarian.
It is in the forests and wilderness of Idukki district in India’s southern state of Kerala. This is a low literacy spot in Kerala, India’s most literate state. It is operated by P.V. Chinnathambi, 73, Tea Vendor, Sports Club Organizer and Librarian as he calls himself in a face book style description. In a Barnes & Noble style, he offers tea/coffee along with ‘namkeen mixture,’ biscuits, matches and other provisions, while you read. He maintains an issue & receipt register for books and stocks about 200 books including classical. You could read more about him at www.psainath.org
LIBRARY OF EMOTIONS
This unique library is an Israeli brain child. This is in Tel Aviv and located in a park and opens at night. It has no enclosures or guard rails. The arrangement of books does not follow a scientific scheme. Rather, they are arranged by the emotions they evoke.
Every reader has to describe the book read as boring, exciting, sentimental, amusing etc. The emotions are all color coded and the reader’s response is also recorded in the form of colored tape.
SMILE A WHILE
Just in case you thought libraries mean no humor, look below:
And another one:
Q: “What happens when a Cannibal eats a Librarian?”
A: Out po(o)ps the Reader’s Digest.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: this blog is a compilation of information available in the public domain and my thanks are due to all such sources.