[Another post from Sam visiting libraries and public spaces on tour—explanation here.]
Here in Seattle, I received a tip from a friend of the Uni: Seattle Public Library Bookmobile parked at a nearby Chevron station. I could actually see it from the hotel window.
Hustled downstairs, looking to talk shop with the onboard librarians, but I was too late. The extraordinary bus was already on the move.
During our Kickstarter run, we were asked why we didn’t mount the Uni on a truck or bus. Our answer:
We thought about various container solutions and even bookmobile approaches, but decided lightweight and scalable was the key to gaining a foothold for this kind of program in urban space, especially New York. We also discovered that bookmobiles have been dying because of operational costs (eg. gas), and we have a sense that people don’t like the capsule-like atmosphere when you step inside a vehicle or even some temporary structures. So we asked the designers to create a system that we could adapt to all sorts of locations, indoors and out, at half-scale as a 4 ft cube, or even as a linear shelf that hugs the contour of building.
That said, whether deployed at partial or full scale, we really want to offer a safe, inviting “space” where people feel comfortable gathering, sitting, listening, and reading. We aim to be much more than a bookshelf. The benches and tables are going to be key.
And here’s a parting shot from Seattle: the bookmobile I missed by seconds.