Friday, March 20, 2015

The LibraryBox Project - Connecting, Connecting, Connecting

LibraryBox is a portable private digital distribution system designed for libraries and education. It is also an "open source project that is dedicated to the sharing of digital information in areas where there is no access to the internet, or in areas where access to the internet is intermittent or restricted in some way." Created by Jason Griffey using a modified version of the PirateBox Project, it is the first product from Evenly Distributed, LLC.

Library Box logo
LibraryBox logo courtesy of Jason Griffey
Recently through a 2014 Knight Foundation Prototype Grant, LibraryBox was able to release version 2.0. which included the following updates:
  • Expanding the hardware that can run the open source software
  • Collecting statistics and displaying use to users (completely anonymous, ensuring privacy)
  • Auto sync/Mesh component
  • Custom configuration
LibraryBox, or tools similar to LibraryBox, can be used to interact with the community in areas where connectivity is limited or nonexistent, or for emergency services. Some libraries and agencies have used it to store their first-responder documents so they are available for others to access when needed. Another library has loaded their LibraryBox with public domain and creative commons licensed materials to be accessed throughout the community (very useful for those libraries that want to have embedded librarians). Relatively easy and inexpensive to make, connecting to others in areas where connectivity is problematic or where privacy is a major concern.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team