New Life for Misfit Books

An offbeat bookstore has conceived an equally offbeat way to sell underappreciated titles.

Meet Biblio-Mat, a peculiar book vending machine created by designer Craig Small (of The Juggernaut) for The Monkey’s Paw in Toronto as an alternative to discount bins at the bookstore.

For $2, the rudimentary mechanics creak to life to provide both a random bit of reading material and unique shopping experience.

(via bOING bOING)

Stay Safe Out There

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If you’ve recently been in or around PCL (and you’re a college-age student at UT), you’ve probably noticed the increased activity, especially in the hours between midnight and 4 a.m. Those late-night denizens of the central branch library at the university are a result of the expanded 24/5 service — 24-hour, 5 day-a-week — that went into effect in mid-October as the result of work by Student Government to raise the necessary funding.

While those late hours are a good thing for the students who need a place to put in dedicated study time (or for those who waited until the eleventh hour to get started), it also means that individuals will need to traverse the campus to get to and from the library in the middle of the night, a less than optimal prospect.

Student Government, however, was also able to improve this situation.

The organization developed SURE Walk, a student-run volunteer group that provides walks to and from campus to students, faculty and staff of the university, with the help of both male and female student volunteers selected from university sanctioned organizations across the campus. You can read more about it here.

The program has existed for a few years now, but SG recognized that the bulk of increases in requests would likely come from the space they fought to keep open, so they’ve decided to move the operation to the place that makes the most sense, and will be working out of the PCL, providing an extra measure of safety (and relief) to students (and parents).

SG representatives will have a small kick-off party tonight (11/14/12) at 8 p.m. in the UFCU room at the PCL, so come out and support them for making life a little safer on campus.

Escape to Book Mountain

Book Mountain in the Netherlands.

Though we often focus our thoughts and attention on the changing nature of libraries, it’s good to occasionally be reminded that our “storied” past is also part of the present.

Nearly ten years in the making, a new library recently opened outside of Rotterdam that is a monument to the book.

A pyramidal structure of wood, glass, stone and steel contains what may be the world’s largest bookcase, “Book Mountain” – a structure of staircases, pathways and terraces surrounded by some 50,000 books that spirals upward to a reading room and café at its peak.

And despite its remarkable design by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, the building is more function than form, as it is set amongst a community of government housing complexes where the population has a 10% illiteracy rate.

See more photos here, and a report by the BBC, here.