• What are essential tools for a library?

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  • If you were starting a library at a primary school from scratch how would you do it? In particular, what kind of digital tools would best organize and showcase the collection?

    But in a wider sense I want to make a library for tomorrow and am open to any tips. I have a clean slate here which I think is an amazing opportunity. I don't want to make a dusty old room. I want it to be fresh and inviting.

    Perhaps there are innovative programs building unique community spaces, or networks of professionals aggregating best practices, or blogs written by the underpaid next generation staffers who would fashion something that we might not even recognize as a library.

    KK has inspired me to make something like a Material & Kinesthetic Library - combining Wink-like Books, art class, Drama lessons, school zoo and community garden... I'm open to any wild ideas you might have.

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    Question by lionel

I designed some shelving for a small temporary ”branch” of the Reanimation Library. I had many discussions with the curators and director of the library and we decided that the shelves themselves could be used to stimulate interest in the books. So I routed imagery I found inside the books into the backs of the shelves so as books were removed you would get a tiny slice of an intriguing image on the back of the shelf. I thought this might in some small way encourage folks to pull books of the shelves (the primary goal of a library! ha!). We also decided that showing the covers of books really encouraged browsing. I realize you don’t have infinite space for this. But we found it very effective. I designed the shelves with a bit of tilt so books would lay nicely on the shelves facing outward without risk of tipping forward and onto the floor.

I also routed imagery from the books onto the tables and chairs of the library as another way to generate interest in the books themselves. There was little cards on the walls next to the furniture pieces so you could go find the exact book and page number of the image I used to create the furniture.


I should also cool-tool-ify this post a bit. I used the Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router (Amazon). It is great for this purpose. It is not so powerful that it feels like you are driving a muscle car around on your wood but it has plenty of oomph for free-hand routing with 1/4 inch wide plunge bits set to a 1/16 inch depth. I put my wood against the wall of my shop and use my LCD projector to project the image on the wood (like the old days of an opaque projector). I then trace the image onto the wood in pencil then take the wood down off the wall and lay it flat to do the routing. Freehand routing is very imperfect. It is difficult to stay on the pencil line but not too difficult to stay close to your pencil line. I like the look of it. It makes the traced image a little less formal.

Safety Note: Always use the base when freehand routing. Even small routers can permanently injure you. I also try to keep from doing too many climb cuts (cutting in the direction of the bit rotation.) as many say they are more dangerous.

Answer by robray

Also, The Reanimation Library uses Library of Congress classification.

Answer by robray
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