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Available languages — Tag:amenity=public_bookcase
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Public-images-osm logo.svg amenity = public_bookcase
Regał publiczny w Hanowerze.
A street furniture containing books. Take one, leave one. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Public bookcase-14.svg
Group: Amenities
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

A public bookcase (sometimes known as a book exchange) 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. (A very special case of LFL is the Peace Pole Library - peace message in 6' tall LFL; a few have been installed at historic civil rights movement locations in the U.S. South. No apparent official tag for peace poles, of which there are 200,000 worldwide.)

How to Map

Applies to nodes or areas.

Tag Description
amenity=public_bookcase The tag used to describe a street furniture containing books.
name=* Optional. Name of the public bookcase, for example hand written text on the furniture (e.g. "Thomas' Little Library").
brand=* Optional. Name of the brand or network of the bookcase if there is one visible (e.g. BookCrossing, Croque-livres, Little Free Library.).
capacity=number Optional. Number of books the bookcase can contain.
opening_hours=* Optional. Can be an important information.
operator=* Optional. Name of the operator, for example a restaurant that provides the bookcase within its walls.
public_bookcase:type=* Optional. Distinction based designs.
website=* Optional. Website of the public bookcase, if one exists.


See also