Biblioboxx – The Sustainable Street Library BookboXX

Translation from German: Heiner Benking

Konrad Kutt

Institute for Sustainability in Education Employment and Culture (INBAK), Berlin E-mail address:

Copyright © 2017 by Konrad Kutt. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License:


With the „Sustainable BiblioboXX“ a new style of decentralized book exchanges has been created. For example: the traditional beautiful, yellow German telephone-cabin is furnished with book shelves for a new career as a street library. Its purpose is not an administered or private collection of books, but instead a type of commons: an unbureaucratic, communityoriented sharing, distribution, and release of high quality, even dearly kept collected books, with the hope to find new readers, later passed on or given away, again and again. Many people have long since taken a book again in their hands. Opportunity makes readers. „Looking for nothing was in my mind, finding „by accident“ emerged.

In many respects, this street library is also a learning place for sustainability. In a first step, trainees of several professions are working on the refurbishing and conversion of the telephone cabin. In a holistic project of „Education for Sustainable Development“, they learn how a new library is created as a new place for communication with books as its central element. An old-fashioned telephone box, a small historic or out-dated little house, unknown to most of the students, is transformed and emerges with new forms and functions. They learn and work on aspects of social and environmental sustainability in their specific professions using certified wood from local cultivation, recycling material, color and metal technology as well as gardening and landscaping. In addition, they calculate and install an in-house lightning system, a „library-owned“ solar system, also a charging station for mobile phones and other devices. Visible to everyone: the end of the fossil age has come, energy comes from the sun. Looking at the professions involved and the different learning places, further sustainability principles are becoming apparent: participation and interdisciplinarity. Finally, the collaborative process of design adapting to the specific future site, the intended content, functions and features in conjunction with political education and community building based on action and reflection.

Keywords: Sustainable Libraries, Environmental Management, Library Science

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