Sharing the Social Life of Books

In collaboration with the North Vancouver District Public Library and the BC Libraries Cooperative, BookLore spins citizen-generated data about the circulation of books into public engagement threads about reading designed to strengthen the social fabric of communities.


KEYWORDS:  books, reading, readers, libraries, community, social life, citizen data
AUDIENCE:   readers, book lovers
PARTNER/HOST:  BC Libraries Cooperative, North Vancouver District Public Library
PARTICIPANTS:  The University of British Columbia
PROJECT LEAD:  Erin Brown, UBC with David Vogt, Urban Opus
PROJECT STATUS:  Design stage

Urban Opus Rationale

BookLore is about the human interface of ‘smart cities’; of how citizen engagement with data can enhance the livability and well-being of modern urban worlds.  Even more important for the BC Libraries Cooperative and the North Vancouver District Public Library, the BookLore project intends to demonstrate a new business model for how such innovative data applications can reduce the strain on library acquisitions budgets while more effectively fulfilling their public service missions.

Modern public libraries do a wonderful job of circulating books to readers everywhere. The data technology to do this is impressive. For example, avid readers can use their online library accounts to request a regular stream of books coming to them at their local library.  The system takes into account how many copies of a book there are, where they are, and how many people have requested them, and then generates a schedule to quietly send thousands of books on invisible trips around their city every day.

If we turn such technology inside-out and imagine the world from the viewpoint of a single book, these same data sketch a record of its life from library to library, home to home, and mind to mind.  Such records can relate important public narratives about the social lives of books and reading at a community scale.

Activation Path
BookLore is currently in active design phase, including consultations with key stakeholders, architecture of user experience, technology specification and validation of business model.


About Urban Opus
Urban Opus is Canada’s first ‘smart city’ industry cluster. The non-profit consortium serves as trusted broker for innovative projects and organizations seeking to employ data to enhance the urban experience. In great cities of the world, the consummate well-being of people and communities is being inspired by data. Join us to make that happen!
Contact: David Vogt, President, Urban Opus –