What the Heck Is a Digital Pop-up Library?

People accessing a digital pop-up library through mobile devices

In Evanston, Illinois, four new libraries have appeared. Except that they look nothing like libraries and everything like, well, posters with instructions to access a Wi-Fi hotspot. Because that's exactly what they are.

"How can a Wi-Fi hotspot anchor a library?" I hear you ask. My thoughts exactly. So I did a little digging and found … not a lot. It seems that these strange but rather clever libraries are still a relatively unknown phenomenon in both the tech and library worlds.

Library In A Box: How Worthington Brings Library Services Anywhere

Move over bookmobiles, there’s a new way to get library services out into the community. I’m calling it a “library in a box”. It was devised by Susan Allen at Worthington Libraries in Ohio. It's not very expensive, and I think it's a genius idea.

It’s not news that libraries have ample digital collections of eBooks, magazines and academic journals, music and much more. Imagine being able to show people all the resources your library can offer, wherever people happen to be hanging out.

Using Smartphones and Portable WiFi Hotspots to Tell Your Story

More than any other time of the year it's a great time to tell your compelling library story. To quote a somewhat recent YouTube blog piece, "If a picture is worth a thousand words, then is a video worth a million?" May well be. TechSoup has some tools that may come in handy.

Advertise your wi-fi!

Terrific idea from the ever-informative WIRED-MT listserv about how to advertise wi-fi services at your library:

"Often, libraries may provide the only wireless access in town. If you provide wifi, you can list your library in one or more WiFi directories. This makes people aware of a very valuable service you provide that may be somewhat hidden. Additionally, these directories are handy for you and your patrons when trying to find wifi access.

Here is a list of a few sites you can list in for free.