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thoughts

Library in the Subway

I guess it was a couple of years ago when the staffs in Sinsa subway station in Seoul, Korea decided to put an open bookshelf in their halls. Apparently they expected the passengers using the subway station would borrow from the bookshelf and then return the books in time for the next person to keep enjoying the collections. At first, there were some books to begin with. Fast forward to what the bookshelf looks like now (photo above). Despite the earnest plea to return the books (as written on the notes), the books disappeared rather quickly. All you can see now are some piles of advertisement brochures. So, obviously the original plan to have a working open library has been a failure. Yet the subway office did not bother to do anything about this empty bookshelf. Neither did they think of removing the now defunct notes. Perhaps they decided to leave this in public display as an expression of their resentment or disillusion against the sorry state of civility exhibited by the library users. In spite of all the good intentions, some ideas are destined to fail by design or lack thereof. – – – * There is another case of subway station library which failed in even larger scale. ** Jae Woong Yoo’s critique on what’s wrong with the subway library.]]>

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