Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I Love Libraries: The Book Stop

Of course!

So, for today's post (because this is supposedly a Valentine feature) I am featuring The Book Stop. It is a pop-up library where anyone and everyone is welcome to browse, read and engage in a book exchange program. This idea is not new, of course. I have heard about The Little Free Library, and seen one in a corner of the Glorieta Mall in Ayala, Makati, as well as the Book Exchange Project of Papemelroti Roces Ave., branch in Quezon City.

Be still my book loving heart.

Such out of the library box ideas are pleasant news. Access to books and reading materials are now within the community's reach. It does break the stereotype of the one building library, often looking isolated and intimidating, and puts the library at the hub of people's businesses and traffic.

The Book Stop, though not the first to adapt the book exchange concept, is unique in its own design of a reading space. Instead of bricks and cement for walls, there is none at all. Only shelves of steel (forgive me if I am wrong) and columns that hold up the shelves. The flooring and the seats are made of wood giving it a homey feel. At the Dai des Libro last April 2016, I first saw its novelty. It was such a pleasant surprise to find one in Molito in Alabang last year in December.

If you think that The Book Stop is something you wish to support, click the link I included in this post. Or, visit the Facebook Page of WTA Architecture and Design Studio. Yup. This community reading center is run by an architecture firm and design studio. It only goes to show that art and technology must work for the people who use them. The same idea goes to libraries. Technology is a big factor in managing and running a library. But, a library is also about the arts and humanities, where people matter a lot!

I'm tossing these ideas on how "traditional" libraries and book lovers can further enrich and partake in the reading community through The Book Stop.

a. Volunteer to do storytelling sessions and literacy activities. When I posted my selfie with The Book Stop, I got a PM from another volunteer if I wish to help out and do my bit.

b. Donate books. All sorts and different kinds of books.

c. Write about them on social media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs

d. Librarians' associations and organizations can try inviting the proponents of The Book Stop to run talks about developing reading centers in communities. We can learn a thing or two from the architects and the designers who set it all up.

e. If you know that The Book Stop is in your community, or near your neighborhood, go visit! Read! Bring your kids, your partner, lover, friend and colleagues!

Today is the last day of February. The month of hearts and the arts draws to a close. But let our love for books, reading, culture and the arts last the whole year through!

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