The Underground Library: Using Mobile Technology to Spread Awareness

We recently came across this article (and video) that talks about how three students of the Miami Ad School came up with an idea for how they could direct people towards the increasingly empty branches of the New York Public Library (NYPL). The solution, called The Underground Library, is simple and ingenious: the students – art directors Keri Tan and Max Pilwat and copywriter Ferdi Rodriguez – have designed a virtual bookshelf which could be put up at different locations in the subway, as well as on the trains. This is the one place where there’s still no wi-fi, so there’s nothing much to occupy passengers. They could use their NFC enabled-phones to tap on the poster to sample 10 pages of some of the bestsellers stocked at the NYPL. Once they’re done with reading this material and have exited the subway, they will be given directions to the nearest library, in case they wish to continue reading the story.
Although this is just a proposal and has not been implemented yet, we would love to see it working in real life. It’s an idea that can be executed by libraries around the world, since the demise of libraries is global epidemic. And why stop at libraries? Perhaps similar posters could be used to give people a taste of classic movies, music and theatre and could then help them discover great performances and screenings all around their cities. We strongly believe that mobile technology is a great aid to cultural bodies and can be used to spread awareness about art. Here’s hoping that it is used to its full potential in this area.

(Image courtesy mvttley)



Mobile technology for libraries