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The Underground Library: An Idea To Create A Virtual Book Shelf For The Subway
March 16, 2013
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Picture this - you're on a subway or a bus... you start looking at all the posters and signs... and you see one that looks like a book shelf, full of great reads.

Only it's not a poster.

Three students from the Miami Ad School in Brooklyn have come up with something they call 'The Underground Library'.

It's a virtual library shelf that would allow you to walk up, pick out a book, and swipe your smartphone across it to download the first 10 pages for free.

The idea is to encourage people to give the book a try, and then head over to the nearest public library to pick up a hard copy.

And even if you don't know where the closest library is, no problem. When you leave the subway, a map comes up on your phone to show you the nearest branches.

Here's a short video from the designers.

There's no WiFi on the subway, but the students say a lot of new smartphones have Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology that can be used for downloading.

Art directors Keri Tan and Max Pilwat and copywriter Ferdi Rodriguez are the ones who developed the idea - with the New York Public Library in mind.

At this point, that's all it is - an idea. But if it actually happens, it seems like a cool way to connect the digital world with actual books.

As the students point out, "now that the internet is available almost anywhere, people are able to do "instant research" to learn about anything on their smartphones."

"The New York Public Library wants to remind New Yorkers that they are still a valuable resource, and a free service... They want to give New Yorkers something productive to do on the subway instead of their everyday people watching."


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