Box Technology

When we say ‘Library Technology’ I instantly think of the new technologies that have been reshaping libraries, ebooks, shelf-checkout stations, online databases and journals, but technology isn’t just electronics and gizmos. Print books are one of the most basic technologies of a library. It’s odd to think of a print book as a technology, and yet it is an amazing medium which, in most cases, captures information on a given topic and builds on that information to reach a conclusion. Not all technology has to be complex, some of the most useful technology can be very simple.

For instance, a library in Brookline, MA has started a new technology which is very simple and yet has had a great impact in involving the community. They have created an “Awesome Box” shaped like the TARDIS from the television show Dr. Who. The idea is very simple. When returning items, patrons place books they loved in the TARDIS awesome box instead of the returns desk. This may not seem much like ‘technology’, but instigating this system is a great way to increase community involvement. Books are selected by what other patrons enjoyed, not the library staff. The lists of books are added to a website so that patrons can easily view the list, but the heart of the project is a box designed like a TARDIS. Patrons know that what they find there was read and enjoyed by another member in their community and adding a book to a TARDIS shaped box is just fun (Peterson).

Sometimes the technology libraries employ is complex and delicate. And sometimes that technology is putting a book in a box and seeing involvement in the library community grow to increase the love of reading and literature.


Peterson, Karyn M. “Library’s TARDIS “Awesome Box.” Library Journal 139.2 (2014): 16. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.