Project Director David Wiley Sr. manages more than 20,000 holdings - enough books to stretch the length of several football fields. Yet his "library" weighs fewer than 100 pounds and easily fits on a rolling cart or in the trunk of his car....
A laptop, printer, paper cutter, heat-binding tool and a DVD loaded with best-loved books - available to the public free through Project Gutenberg - combine to make the traditional Bookmobile look like a lumbering giant.
Gutenberg offerings - books with expired copyrights - are converted into a format that can be printed and bound inside of 10 minutes, Wiley Jr. said.
There's no need for a warehouse to store inventory and no cost to ship books, because the Microlibrary prints requests only - for pennies on the dollar.
“The whole administrative cost of cataloging a book, checking it out, getting it returned and back on the shelf is more than the cost of printing the book and giving it to somebody,” Wiley Jr. said. “So putting something like this in a rural library would be super cost effective.”
Technology continues to find new ways to put books into the hands and minds of young readers, ways that could only be dreamed about just a few years ago. Check here for all the details, including some great pictures, of exactly how this project works.