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The Australian Library Journal

ISSN: 0004-9670 (Print) 2201-4276 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ualj20

Exploring pop-up libraries in practice

Asha Davis, Celia Rice, Deanne Spagnolo, Josephine Struck & Suzie Bull

To cite this article: Asha Davis, Celia Rice, Deanne Spagnolo, Josephine Struck & Suzie Bull
(2015) Exploring pop-up libraries in practice, The Australian Library Journal, 64:2, 94-104, DOI:
10.1080/00049670.2015.1011383

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00049670.2015.1011383

Published online: 05 May 2015.

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https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=ualj21
The Australian Library Journal, 2015
Vol. 64, No. 2, 94–104, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049670.2015.1011383

ARTICLE
Exploring pop-up libraries in practice1
Asha Davisa, Celia Riceb*, Deanne Spagnoloc, Josephine Struckd and Suzie Bulle
a
Mildura Rural City Council Library Service, Mildura, Australia; bCasey-Cardinia Library
Corporation, Cranbourne, Australia; cBrimbank Libraries, Sunshine, Australia; dMoreland City
Libraries, Moreland, Australia; eMornington Peninsula Library Service, Mornington, Australia

This paper examines the pop-up concept, a world-wide trend which has been employed
in various commercial and community settings, with a particular interest in how it has
been applied to literary environments, using both physical and digital resources. The
report examines six Australian public libraries, investigating why and how they
established a pop-up library, and reflecting on their successes, challenges and what they
have learnt from the process. The paper provides a definition of pop-up libraries and
outlines how to create a pop-up library for a public library service, exploring the risks,
benefits and issues to consider when planning for a successful pop-up library.
Keywords: pop-up libraries; public libraries; low-cost promotion; literacy; innovation;
partnerships

Implications for best practice


. Pop-up libraries are a simple and cost-effective way to raise the profile, enhance
promotion, promote a positive image and challenge stereotypes of the library in the
community.
. Pop-up libraries expand literacy in the community and reach people who do not use
the library.
. Pop-up libraries have great potential for establishing and strengthening
partnerships.
. Successful pop-up libraries can be created at a low cost by using existing print
resources, and can in turn extend the life of a print collection.
. Pop-up libraries are temporary in nature, but they can be so successful that they
become a permanent extension of the library service.

What is a pop-up?
The pop-up is an ever-increasing global trend, crossing into many different industries around
the world. A pop-up is established when businesses, governments, universities, community
groups, individuals or brands temporarily activate places and spaces for promotion, trials or
the sharing of resources. The key element for pop-ups is discovery. Ultimately, they help
communities discover new ways to engage, interact and progress. The important elements are
the concept, the location and creating a memorable experience.
According to the marketing company Vacant’s website (http://www.govacant.com/),
the concept of a pop-up shop began in New York City in 1999 as a way for fashion retailers
to promote their stock and sell excess stock at reduced prices. The possibilities of the type
of pop-ups existing today are endless. Successes have been experienced with cafes,

*Corresponding author. Email: celia.rice@cclc.vic.gov.au

q 2015 Australian Library & Information Association


The Australian Library Journal 95

restaurants, shops, events, galleries, theatres, bars, markets, gardens, hotels, food trucks,
flash mobs, performances and libraries. According to the Pop Union website (http://
popuppages.com/pop-ups/what-is-a-pop-up), pop-ups can no longer be looked upon as a
trend, but rather a concept that holds its own place in an ever-changing, global
marketplace.
Pop-ups appear as something which is spontaneous, vibrant, innovative and
unexpected. Whilst a pop-up is temporary in nature, there is no clear indication as to
the definition of how long temporary is. Although they appear to be spontaneous and
unexpected, planning is essential to ensure the success of pop-up venues.
There are many advantages to creating a pop-up venue. They can:
. provide exciting new ways to discover products and services;
. create an enjoyable experience which differs from the norm;
. engage and interact with others in the community;
. provide experiences of new trends;
. excite a response from a new series of customers;
. promote local businesses;
. provide potential for publicity in local papers;
. encourage brand awareness;
. clear excess stock;
. make short-term profits;
. trial new concepts;
. respond to seasonal requirements; and
. make positive use of vacant spaces.

Pop-ups and books


The Little Free Library website (http://littlefreelibrary.org/) describes how the Little Free
Library started out as a backyard project but is now a global movement. It involves
ordinary citizens creating a container, usually a little box on their land near their mailbox
so the public can access it, and filling it with books that can be taken by passers-by. Some
operate on a take one, leave one policy. The movement is now a charitable foundation that
advocates and promotes reading for children, literacy for adults and recognition of
libraries worldwide. There are over 15,000 registered Little Free Libraries in communities
around the world. The Little Free Library concept continued to be developed as a part of
the IDEAS CITY festival in New York in 2013 (Architectural League of New York,
2013). The PEN World Voices Festival and the Architectural League of New York
partnered with the Little Free Libraries and ran a design competition open to architects and
designers. The idea was to create pop-up libraries that were innovative in design, fun and
user-friendly, which had minimal impact on the locations where they were installed, and
were easily assembled and disassembled. The chosen designs were given a budget of
$1000 for materials and construction and were then installed in locations around New
York City, resulting in intriguing spaces filled with books that were quickly adopted by the
community.
Digital pop-up libraries are a way of combining the popular eReader or smart devices,
Quick Response (QR) code technology and eBooks. In 2012, a collaboration between
Vodafone and a book publisher in Bucharest resulted in the creation of a digital pop-up
library in a subway station. The walls of the station were plastered with QR code-enabled
large format posters, allowing commuters to scan the QR code and download free samples
96 A. Davis et al.

of book and audiobook titles via the Vodafone digital library mobile site (Telecompaper,
2012). Although a publicity stunt, this example encouraged commuters to sample eBook
technology in a clever, forward thinking way.
Another kind of digital library is the Library Box concept. Library Box is a
Kickstarter-funded file sharing software and inexpensive hardware developed by Jason
Griffey in 2013. It enables users to set up a mini server and Wi-Fi hotspot using a power
source and the Library Box hardware. Users can set up a Library Box in a park or café,
load it with digital information such as out of copyright eBooks and share it with those
who have a Wi-Fi enabled device (Griffey, 2012).

Pop-ups as promotion
Bookworld is an online company that specialises in selling Australian and international
titles. According to the Bookworld website (http://www.bookworld.com.au/popups), in
2013/2014 Bookworld revealed pop-up shelves full of free books in select locations across
Melbourne and Sydney in a promotion entitled Giving Back – Free Books at Bus Stops.
The response was overwhelming and as a result Bookworld was flooded with requests for
more pop-up shelves throughout Australia. A subsequent survey asking for nominations of
future pop-up shelf locations received 6000 nominations. The winner was determined
through a public vote on the company’s Facebook page: Dirrandandi, a small drought-
stricken town in New South Wales.
The Penguin Group USA (2014) website describes how the company borrowed the
concept behind the ubiquitous food truck and developed a book truck and book pushcart
which travels to book-related events and festivals across the USA. The truck and pushcart
are stocked with a wide selection of the publisher’s most popular authors and titles. The
truck is parked near the event, while the pushcart, similar to a New York hotdog cart, is
moved to various locations in the area such as bookstores, parks, markets and popular
shopping precincts to create awareness and generate buzz. The public are invited to follow
the truck on social media as it travels around.
Tweedy (2010) describes how in 2010, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BILLY
design bookcase produced by IKEA, the company staged a ‘BILLY on the Beach’
promotion. This saw 30 BILLY bookcases set up on Bondi Beach for a day and filled with
books. The beachgoers were invited to take a book/leave a book, or purchase a book with a
gold coin donation. The remaining books and donations were given to The Australian
Literacy and Numeracy Foundation at the end of the promotion.

Pop-ups as social movements


The Footpath Library started in Sydney in 2003 when a young woman who was
volunteering to feed the homeless noticed a man reading a book under a street light. She
began to regularly bring him books and from this the Footpath Library, an initiative that
donates ‘near-new’ and new books to homeless and marginalised people across Australia,
was created. Similar pop-up libraries for homeless people operate out of Sydney and the
Gold Coast (http://footpathlibrary.org/about/history/).
Another movement, guerrilla libraries, are created without approval or support of an
authority or governing body. Guerrilla libraries provide a collection space for ideas or
themes that are not generally well represented in more traditional library collections, for
example, zines, radical political ideas or erotica. Guerrilla libraries and librarians can
often be highly politicised and controversial. The People’s Library of Occupy Wall
The Australian Library Journal 97

Street is an example of a recent guerrilla library (Occupy Wall Street Library [OWSL],
2014). It started as a pile of books that kept growing and to protect them from the rain,
protesters put them in boxes and started to organise them into categories. The boxes,
labelled OWSL, were set to be confiscated and destroyed by the New York City Police
Department; however, librarians’ resistance prevented this and ensured the library’s
continuing growth.

Pop-ups at transit points


Airports, train stations, tram and bus stops have become popular locations for pop-up
libraries, being ideal locations for quick pickup and drop-off points for print and digital
collections. Schiphol’s Airport Library in Amsterdam is the first permanent airport library
geared towards long layover passengers. It is not a lending but rather a reference library,
described by the airport as ‘a sitting area with added value’ (http://www.airportlibrary.nl/
en/about-airport-library.html). In the UK, telephone booths have found a second life as
pop-up library locations. The Contra Costa libraries in California have been using book
lending vending machines since 2008 (Sanford, 2008). The kiosks have been termed
Library-a-Go-Go. Book vending machines have also popped up in places such as Family
Justice Centres and train stations.

Pop-up librarians
College of Business Librarians at Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne have taken to
popping up all over campus to assist students with specialist business research as well as
with finding information and using resources such as the library catalogue, databases and
online resources (VU, 2014). The initiative began at VU’s Footscray and City campuses in
April 2013.

Pop-ups and the public library sector


There is no clear definition of what constitutes a pop-up library. One aim of this paper is to
create a definition that will be useful for the Australian public library sector. It should be
recognised, however, that there are various models of pop-up libraries, so flexibility of
definition is important.
A pop-up library is a collection of resources taken outside the physical library space to
the public. These resources may be physical or digital. They may be part of the library
collection, or be withdrawn or other excess stock that is not a part of the general collection.
There may be an expectation that the items will not be returned. Pop-up libraries are about
informal access to library resources. They are an extension of the library brand, based
primarily on the promotion of literacy and reading. A pop-up library should be unexpected
in the space it occupies, thus generating a buzz and garnering attention – this will be added
to by the pop-up library’s temporary nature.
A pop-up library is different to the usual outreach activities that a library uses to
promote its services. While a pop-up library can act as promotion for the library service,
promotion does not by itself constitute a pop-up library. Pop-up libraries are not a static
display, or staff spruiking with pamphlets when library awareness alone is the aim. While
a pop-up library may increase membership, that is not its purpose. Literary-based
engagement with the general public is, instead, the focus of any pop-up library project, and
running a pop-up can add a less formal flavour to your library brand.
98 A. Davis et al.

The following examples illustrate why and how many libraries around Australia have
used the pop-up library concept. The descriptions of the services offered have been taken
from interviews either by email or in person with the organisers within each organisation.

Wodonga library
According to Leanne Boyd (email, 24 April 2014), Wodonga Library started the Little
Libraries project with the aim of engaging community members who would not normally
visit the library with reading material. As a flow-on effect, it was hoped that they would
become members of the library.
Four local artists were asked to submit a drawing and a concept. Proposals had to
adhere to a budget and meet certain criteria, for example, shelves for the books and easy
movability, since the libraries are small and have wheels to allow them to be moved inside
at night. Out of the four, three were chosen. The items used were all withdrawn or donated
stock. Each site had a specific focus. For example, one location was the local swimming
pool, so the stock consisted of mainly junior fiction, picture books and magazines. One
was at a neighbourhood house where a youth group was being set up so a lot of young adult
fiction was sent. Boyd stated that it is not a concern if books do not come back, but the
hope is that people will simply return the books or exchange them for something else.
While no formal statistics were collected, success was measured by how many times
the pop-up libraries had to be restocked. This was only once required at the pool location;
however, Boyd explains that this may be due to staff failing to request new stock rather
than lack of demand.
For Wodonga Library, Little Libraries is a long-term project, with the pop-up library
location changing every 3 –4 months. The next sites chosen are the local leisure centre, a
corner store a little out of town, and the town’s entertainment centre.

Frankston City Libraries


Frankston City Libraries have their own definition of a pop-up library. According to Ann
Anderson from Frankston City Libraries (email, 30 April 2014), the emphasis is on taking
the library service to a new and popular location, with reduced lending hours. While this
definition emphasises the temporary nature of such an arrangement, the Frankston Library
Express Service has been operating for 10 years – making it a good example of how a
successful pop-up library can become an integral part of a library’s services.
The aim in the creation of the Frankston pop-up was to reach out to new customers
unable to visit the library due to long work hours. Anderson and the team identified the
nature of the Frankston community as a dormitory suburb, with the train station recognised
as the best place to promote their library service. This location had the added benefit of
creating a feeling of safety in the railway station. Initially the pop-up was funded by a
Council grant; when the initial funding expired a large petition from the community
ensured that continued funding was made available by the council.
The Library Express is stocked with books, CDs and DVDs that rotate every 3 months
between several outreach locations. Borrowing and returning functions are completed on a
laptop in offline mode and the transaction data are then uploaded to the library system at a later
date. A staff member staffs and maintains the library when it is open as part of her regular full-
time hours. Relief staff have been trained to fill in when necessary. This arrangement would
not be possible without a strong partnership with Metro Trains Melbourne who provide a
storage shed on the station for book trolleys and borrowing equipment.
The Australian Library Journal 99

The pop-up is an outstanding success, with 3082 visits, 2811 loans and 4231 returns in
the 2012– 2013 financial year, a statistic that includes returns of other branch items to the
Library Express.

Wyndham Libraries
Wyndham Libraries partnered with Werribee Plaza to provide a pop-up library in the
Plaza’s centre court for Children’s Book Week in 2013. According to Elizabeth Arkles
from Wyndham City Libraries (email, 28 April 2014), the aim of the pop-up library was to
promote reading and learning, attract non-member users, create outreach opportunities and
strengthen the partnership between the library and the Plaza. When asked for a definition
of a pop-up library, Arkles stated that it was ‘recreating the library experience in an
external location’.
Throughout the week, eight events were held. Library staff hosted story times with
guest readers – including the Mayor – and library IT staff led introductory sessions for
iPad and eBook users. Volunteer youth ran manga workshops for young people and there
was a guest appearance from a Channel 10 weather newsreader who presented his daily
weather cross from the pop-up library. Approximately 100 withdrawn items, identified
with ‘pre-loved’ stickers, were taken from the pop-up library. Wyndham Libraries also
partnered with Collins Booksellers who had a shop in the Plaza at the time.
In preparation for the pop-up library, Wyndham library staff met with Plaza staff to
negotiate space and furniture requirements. Libraries budgeted for staffing requirements
while the Plaza agreed to provide the space, furniture, microphone, stage and chair/lounge.
Arkles revealed that unfortunately the space did not meet the expectations of the library
staff. The pop-up library was created in a setting described as a theatrical stage set-up,
so library staff, therefore, expected a relaxed environment with comfortable lounges and
books cases. Instead, a gated square with rowed seating facing a stage was provided.
In evaluation, library staff concluded that the attendees of the story time sessions were
already library members, many of whom travelled straight over from the story time session
in the library to the pop-up library session. Internet access and restrictions also limited
library staff in their delivery of programs throughout the week. The attendance was
estimated based on library staff talking with attendees. Anecdotally, staff reported that
over 50% of participants were already library users.
Arkles and the Wyndham Libraries team concluded that partners need to be chosen
with care and that expectations should be clearly documented, but that the experience had
not swayed them from trying out a pop-up library in another location at another time.

Goldfields Library Corporation


In 2012, Castlemaine Library established a pop-up library, named Rolling Stock, at the
train station. Gary Aspinall from Goldfields Library Corporation explained (email, 23
April 2014) that the idea was to promote the library service through a low cost and low
maintenance promotion. Its aim was to inform non-users about the library service, to
service current library members and to remind people about the library service.
Rolling Stock is still in operation today, and is still proving to be extremely popular.
On average, around 1400 books are used each year. The library staff no longer consider it
to be a pop-up library, as it is no longer an unexpected service. Rather, they see it as a static
service. Castlemaine Library has one staff member responsible for the upkeep of Rolling
Stock. It is restocked weekly, and is filled with a supply of donated items for the library.
100 A. Davis et al.

No deleted library stock is used to fill it. Each item is stickered to explain the process of
use, and to provide details about Castlemaine Library.
Statistics are gathered by keeping data relating to the number of items taken each
week, and then data relating to the amount of stock removed from the stand. There is no
correlated data relating to potential increases in membership as a result of exposure to the
library service.
Rolling Stock does not require the use of any technology. The associated costs are
extremely low, and it is not labour intensive. It is considered by the staff to be a low-risk
promotion of the library.

Sunshine Coast Libraries


In 2013, Sunshine Coast Libraries ran two pop-up libraries. One was at the local university
where staff placed a pop-up library at a nerd/geek expo called Epic Diem. The other was to
promote the Sunshine Coast Libraries Draft Plan and gather feedback at sites in the region.
Jane Stronach from Sunshine Coast Libraries reported (email, 15 April 2014) that the
staff involved in both these programs thought the pop-up libraries were worth the effort,
especially in engaging with members of the community who would not necessarily be
regular library visitors. According to Stronach, the aim of the pop-up library at the Epic
Diem Nerd culture expo was to promote libraries in a completely unexpected space, create
a partnership with a culture expo at its inception with the aim to continue partnership for
many years to come, attract a different clientele base of non-users and showcase the
variety of technology materials, graphic novel and manga books in the collection.
In this pop-up library, all items are available for loan. The stock comprised current
library materials and was a mixture of DVDs, graphic novels, manga, adult fiction, young
adult fiction and non-fiction. Organisers selected items from the collection that suited the
audience of a nerd culture expo. The advantage of issuing items was that use was tracked by
the library management system. During the expo, 140 items were issued out of 1200 on
shelves. Around 400 people came in through the doors and 80 attended the two author
sessions. A risk assessment was undertaken to comply with expo and venue conditions. The
pop-up library was open during festival hours, 9 am to 7 pm. The library staff made use of
technology such as laptops and iPads used with a Wi-Fi modem and barcode scanners to
issue, reserve and create memberships. A data projector was used for author sessions.
The only negative aspect Stronach reported was in relation to setting up the library, as
it took a lot of work to build a fully kitted out library in one morning. The pop-up library
included two double-sided shelves, two tables full of manga and graphic novels, a
screening area, a chill-out area with chairs, cushions, a complete membership counter and
a large amount of signage to suit the expo’s theme of a Zombie Apocalyptic library.
Sunshine Coast Libraries formed a very good partnership with the expo organisers and
have been invited to be the learning centre’s annual space so will be open again this year.
The big success of the pop-up library is the continued partnership and the aim that the expo
will grow to be a big entity, such as SuperNova, which they can still be part of.
Stronach reported that overall the library staff found that it was worth building a
library within this expo. They have learned what worked well and what not so well, so they
will start building the library the day before, and they will host more authors/workshops
this year and take less stock. For 2014, they have Australian author Isobelle Carmody
booked in as the main guest to attract more attention.
Sunshine Coast Libraries also ran pop-up libraries to promote the draft library strategy.
The pop-ups were used to draw in a crowd, including individuals who would not usually
The Australian Library Journal 101

come into a library. Once engaged, staff used the opportunity to discuss and survey the
public regarding their library plan. For this project, two full pop-up libraries and five
smaller displays were placed in shopping centres. The pop-ups used a few boxes of
withdrawn items and a trolley of loanable titles which were sourced from the largest
branches. iPads with NextG connections were used to perform the surveys about the
library strategy and to display the library’s website.
The project was a success. The library staff completed around 400 surveys and spoke
to many more people about what the library offers. Anecdotally, the staff reported that
everyone they spoke to were excited to see the library out and about doing things.
Unfortunately there was no interest from patrons in actually borrowing books, but as some
pop-up libraries were set up at the beach, a lack of convenience may have had a lot to do
with that decision.

Campaspe Regional Library Service


Campaspe Regional Library Service’s pop-up library at the Echuca train station, called
Reading Along the Lines, was developed in 2012 during the National Year of Reading to
raise awareness of books, reading and libraries in the community in an unexpected and fun
way. This pop-up library consists of a stand that holds 150 plus weeded or donated print
items. By putting stands at the station, the library hopes that items will be taken and read
while waiting for the train or during a lengthy train ride. Each item is given a label that
explains the concept of Reading Along the Lines; the label also gives users with a smart
device the opportunity to connect with the Campaspe Regional Library Service website
through a QR code. The QR code takes users to a page that contains links to project partner
V-Line’s website and directs users towards other library services found along V-Line
transit routes.
Jenny Mustey from Campaspe Regional Library Service (interview, 2 April 2014)
stated that the pop-up library has had a minimal impact on staff time and the library
budget. Items are processed by a volunteer, and another volunteer takes items to the train
station and refills the display, with minimal staff time needed for printing labels and
periodic checks of the display.
While no formal usage statistics have been collected, the number of items needed to
refill the display each week as well as positive customer feedback indicates that the pop-up
library is being used well. Reading Along the Lines is a successful pop-up library project
that has developed into an extension of library services.

How can it work for you?


The benefits of creating a pop-up library for a public library service are significant and
varied. Potential benefits include:
. increased awareness of library service and exposure to non-users;
. taking staff out from behind the desk and into the community;
. potential increased literacy;
. potential for establishing and strengthening partnerships;
. promotion of a positive image and challenging stereotypes of libraries;
. low cost;
. increased membership;
. positive effect on staff by increasing skills and providing a creative outlet;
102 A. Davis et al.

. extending the life of your collection by recycling old and donated stock; and
. good use of volunteers.

Establishing a pop-up library for a public library is a simple and cost-effective way to
lift the profile and enhance promotion of the library in the community. When pop-up
libraries appear in unexpected spaces, it lets people see libraries in a different light. The
unexpected nature plus the wow factor that can be achieved with creative design means the
pop-up library is an effective way to reach non-traditional library users.
Taking services to the people is also an effective way to upskill staff and provide them
with a fun and creative outlet. Instead of serving customers behind a desk, the pop-up
library encourages staff to be more proactive in approaching people. For libraries that
engage volunteers, the pop-up library is a good use of their time.
Partnerships are increasingly important to libraries, to combine resources and share
expertise of organisations. Pop-up libraries offer a great opportunity to form or strengthen a
partnership. The partnership could involve the location of the pop-up library, for example a
shopping centre, swimming pool or railway station; it could involve what is in or at the pop-up
library such as donated books, an event or a coffee machine; it could also include promotion of
the pop-up library through local media or the centre where the pop-up library is located.
It is also necessary to consider the potential risks in creating a pop-up library.
By addressing these risks, it is possible to minimise the chance of them occurring (see Table 1).

Table 1. Risks and risk minimisation.


Potential risks How to minimise these risks
Insurance and public liability issues Examine whether public liability insurance
is needed, or if compliance
with any requirements of where
the pop-up library will be
located is required
Space is unavailable or does Consider space and security requirements
not meet needs
Vandalism and/or theft Regular monitoring of how the
pop-up library is going
Only attracts already engaged users; Promote widely, rather than just
lack of success in the regular places, to
reach the wider community
Community backlash, such as use Identify possible areas for concern
of resources questioned or community in the community and prepare
expectation raised too high (why responses to these concerns
cannot we have one?)
Unsustainable due to lack of resources Recognise it as an experiment
that is temporary in nature,
therefore, not overextending resources
Damaging partnerships Set clear guidelines and expectations,
and ensure regular communication with
partners
No use of the pop-up Locate the pop-up in a
well-used public thoroughfare, and create
a welcoming atmosphere
Pop-up becomes so popular that Plan on short periods in
stock runs out or staffing a location, at least initially,
becomes burdensome and adjust according to use
The Australian Library Journal 103

Table 2. Requirements for establishing a pop-up library.


Physical and/or digital items that can Consultation with stakeholders to gain support
be taken or loaned, such as from partners
books and magazines Promotional tools
Withdrawn stock and donations if they System of linking back to the
will be given away library, for example QR codes on
General stock from collection if they books
will be loaned Shelving and/or stand for books and
Stock tailored to a specific audience other items: think about using creative
or more general in nature to flair and quirkiness in the physical
attract a wide audience set-up
An agreed space in a high A clear message that resources in
traffic area: think about places where the pop-up library are free
you would not expect to find A method of measuring and evaluating
a library, and ensure it does success
not detract from any core business
already operating in the area
Staff time, commitment and enthusiasm for
the project
A webpage to link the pop-up
to the rest of the library service

Requirements
Suggested requirements for a pop-up library are listed in Table 2. This is intended as a
guide only, as requirements will depend on the nature of the library.

Conclusion
The pop-up concept is a worldwide trend infiltrating a wide variety of ventures and social
movements. In the literary sphere, pop-ups have been used by individuals to share books
and other resources, such as in the international Little Free Library movement. Pop-ups
have been used by bookshops, publishers and digital providers to promote their products in
new and unexpected ways. Pop-ups have also been used as a form of protest in the guerrilla
library and librarian movements.
Pop-up libraries allow Australian public libraries to promote literacy beyond the
physical space of the library, providing an opportunity to remind and inform the
community of its services. Literary-based engagement with the general public is the focus
of any pop-up library project, adding a fun flavour to the library brand.

Acknowledgements
This paper could not have been completed without the helpful insights and cooperation from each
public library mentioned in this report. Accordingly, we would like to thank Ann Anderson from
Frankston City Libraries, Jenny Mustey from Campaspe Regional Library Service, Jane Stronach
from Sunshine Coast Libraries, Leanne Boyd from Wodonga Library, Gary Aspinall from Goldfields
Library Corporation and Elizabeth Arkles from Wyndham City Libraries. All contributors to this
paper are graduates of the 2014 Victorian Shared Leadership Program. The Shared Leadership
Program, run by the State Library of Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network, and facilitated
by Upton Martin Consulting, is a challenging leadership development program for Victorian public
library (including the State Library) staff. The program focuses on increasing the leadership
capabilities of participants through theoretical, practical and experiential learning opportunities. This
report was initially written as an action learning project for the 2014 Victorian Shared Leadership
Program. We would like to acknowledge the support of our project sponsor, Jenny Mustey, in every
stage of the development of this project.
104 A. Davis et al.

Note
1. This paper has been double-blind peer reviewed to meet the Department of Education’s Higher
Education Research Data Collection requirements.

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Notes on contributors
Asha Davis is Library Officer, Client Services at Mildura Rural City Council Library Service. Asha
has worked in public libraries for 11 years. She is interested in the marketing and promotion of
libraries as community spaces.
Celia Rice is Children’s and Youth Services Librarian, and currently Acting Team Leader, at Casey-
Cardinia Library Corporation. Celia recently moved to the public library sector after teaching for a
number of years. She is a member of the Public Libraries Victoria Network Children’s and Youth
Services Special Interest Group. Celia is passionate about community engagement and the
promotion of libraries.
Deanne Spagnolo is Branch Coordinator at Brimbank Libraries. Deanne has worked in public
libraries for 22 years. Before moving into her current role, Deanne was a Children’s and Youth
Services Librarian for 10 years. Deanne is passionate about promoting libraries as accessible
community spaces with a focus on the delivery of literacy and learning programs to Culturally and
Linguistically Diverse groups.
Josephine Struck is Children’s and Youth Services Librarian at Moreland City Libraries. Josephine
has worked in libraries for 10 years and has a particular interest in the integral role libraries play in
fostering early childhood literacy.
Suzie Bull is the Rosebud Library Services Coordinator at Mornington Peninsula Libraries. She has
worked in customer service roles in public, university and secondary school libraries since 1992.