BookBox July 12, 2012 - October 30, 2012
About the Work
The BookBox is a mobile unit of Cleveland Public Library (CPL) that seeks to connect with users in an upredictable location. BookBox is an evolution of the ShopBox which was originally designed by Cristian Schmitt, an architect from Santiago, Chile who spent six months in Cleveland developing his idea for a changeable, portable retail unit.
CPL saw the ShopBox concept as a way to engage in community outreach in a new way and the idea of a kiosk that provided reading materials was one that kept surfacing during the redevelopment of Market Square Park. Knowing that the park could be a viable home for a mobile unit, the BookBox idea was born.
The BookBox arrived in Market Square Park in July, 2012 and made its home underneath the mural on the park's western edge. LAND studio, the project architect, and CPL installed a series of exterior graphics to ensure that the BookBox is a visual amenity to the neighborhood and the park even when it is not open for service.
CPL has provided reading materials, access to electronic books, and programming in the park. The BookBox will be staffed on Saturday’s during the summer and fall. Depending on success, the hours could increase to be open when the West Side Market is open. It is also possible the BookBox will have staff on site on Friday and Saturday nights to provide an additional retail outlet when the neighborhood is busiest. The library will offer free wireless during BookBox hours so that the digital collection can be accessed.
The BookBox was made possible by a grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s
Creative Fusion program, which supports international artist-in-residence programs.
Creative Fusion grantee organizations invite artists from across the globe to spend up to a year in Cleveland to participate in community engagement and cultural exchange.
CLEVELANDtm (teach + make), comprised of Playhouse Square, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, and LAND studio, came together to secure the Creative Fusion grant. CLEVELANDtm's goal is to bridge diverse cultures, expand the collective imagination, and promote global perspectives in the local community through the lens of design.