Proposed features/public_bookcase

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An example public bookcase in Hannover.
The Feature Page for this approved proposal is located at Tag:amenity=public_bookcase.


amenity=public_bookcase
Status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: Zethradon
Tagging: amenity=public_bookcase
Applies to: Node node
Definition: A street furniture containing books. Take one, leave one.
Drafted on: 2014-12-17
RFC start: 2014-12-17
Vote start: 2014-12-29
Vote end: 2015-01-12

Proposal

A public bookcase is a type of street furniture containing books. Anyone can take a book from it, or leave one of their own. Contrary to a formal library, there is no rental registry, no membership, no fees and no obligation to return the books borrowed. Books made available on a public bookcase are considered a public commodity to be shared among the local community.

Public bookcases come in many shapes:

  • standing on their own: a bookcase or a small hut;
  • built reusing a public amenity: an old telephone booth or the back of a bus stop;
  • placed on the wall of a public place: shelves in the hall of a community center or on the external wall of a library.

They are also known under the name of Little Free Library, a project which helped popularize the movement of public bookcases.

Public bookcase in Boon, Germany
A public bookcase made out of a tree. Hüfingen, Germany
Public bookcase in Karlshagen, Germany

Rationale

On the notability of the proposed feature:

  • Hundreds of public bookcases are listed on this German Wikipedia page.
  • This map on the Little Free Library website displays thousands of them, especially in the US. Their registration appendix has 238 pages (they have reached the limits of Google Maps and cannot add more locations so they started to list them on an appendix instead).

See also the Wikipedia page on the subject.

Tagging

This proposal is for a new amenity tag:

amenity=public_bookcase

Other existing tags could be used in combination:

  • Key:capacity to describe the approximate book capacity
  • Key:material to describe the material used to built the bookcase (example: wood)

amenity=reuse

Another tag, amenity=reuse, has been proposed to describe public bookcases. This particular tag covers a more general case of "swap-in/swap-out" amenity where people can exchange not only books but any object.

According to the proposal, to document properly the working of a public bookcase using amenity=reuse, the following four tags would be needed:

amenity=reuse
reuse=shelf/box/whatever
reuse:books=only
reuse:policy=free_to_take_or_give

Per definition a public bookcase is mostly/only for books and the policy is always "free to take or give". We argue that this amenity merits its own dedicated tag and that amenity=reuse is not precise enough to describe the feature. That fact the amenity=reuse tag seems too much generic has also previously been discussed.

Little Free Library

(As proposed from the discussion page.)

If the public bookcase if part of the Little Free Library network, it could be tagged like this:

amenity=public_bookcase
brand=Little Free Library
name=The Little Mozart  (if such words were written on the bookcase)

See Key:brand and Key:name for more details.

Other brands

  • Croque-livres, in Québec, Canada
  • BookCrossing, in the case where a physical amenity is used to exchange the books, such as book shelfs mounted on a restaurant wall.

Rendering

As public bookcase are a landmark feature as much or even more visible than telephone booths, it is suggested that they be rendered in the same zoom levels as the telephones. The suggested icon could be the one for standard libraries.

Comments

Please leave any comments on the talk page.

Translation in other languages

According to Wikipedia:

  • Azərbaycanca: İctimai kitab dolabı
  • Deutsch: Öffentlicher Bücherschrank or offener Bücherschrank
  • Español: Biblioteca libre
  • Français: Microbibliothèque
  • Русский: Общественный книжный шкаф

Voting

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Being the author of the document I think this proposal is complete. I would like to further introduce a tag literature:genre to support amenity=public_bookcase, but that will be another discussion. --Zethradon (talk) 06:08, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. although there will certainly be the same confusion of name=*/brand=*/operator=* tags as for amenity=fuel. --Fkv (talk) 08:48, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. though I think more work is needed on "brand", as that concept exists for other amenities such as Bike Repair Stations. Brycenesbitt (talk) 10:02, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. -- LordOfMaps (talk) 10:55, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. -- Polarbear w (talk) 11:22, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:30, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Neuhausr (talk) 14:59, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I like the amenity=public_bookcase tag. reuse is to unspecific and might cause confusion --Werner2101 (talk) 16:12, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Kaitu (talk) 16:15, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. The rationale why to use this tag instead of reuse makes sense to me. I'm not sure about the rendering part: the ones in my city are definitely less visible than phone booths. And I also think a different icon than that for a regular library should be used. --Hobbesvsboyle (talk) 22:18, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Waldhans (talk) 23:05, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Peuc (talk) 23:29, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. clointier (talk) 10:39, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Danstowell (talk) 19:59, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Kotya (talk) 21:14, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Xxzme (talk) 21:54, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Hedaja (talk) 12:07, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Tordanik 17:51, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Warin61 (talk) 22:03, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. JB (talk) 09:16, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. The amenity=public_bookcase makes what is specific to microlibraries - social relationships around books - more explicit that "reuse" --Joplam (talk) 20:57, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The Feature Page for this approved proposal is located at Tag:amenity=public_bookcase.