Way back in March of 2012, I debuted the very first proof-of-concept for the LibraryBox Project at Computers in Libraries in Washington DC. It was the first time a LibraryBox was tested in public, and the reactions and feedback were integral to moving the project forward to where it is today. The first one was actually embedded in a real book (I liked the irony of the presentation).
Where it is today is amazing! We are polishing the v2.1 release of the open source code that lets anyone in the world build their own offline digital file sharing device, which includes a really improved interface, better performance, built-in text translation of the interface into 8 different languages (with an easy framework for adding more), and support for even more hardware.
Back in 2012 at Computers in Libraries, I couldn’t have begun to predict the success that the Project has had. LibraryBoxen are sharing files to those without reliable Internet connectivity all over the world at this point:
View LibraryBox Around the World in a larger map
On April 26, at Computers in Libraries 2015, I will be giving a half-day workshop on the LibraryBox Project and how it can be used by you and your library for outreach, serving the underserved, and more. I will walk you through commonly-requested customizations (how to customize the look and feel of the interface, add your own logo, etc), walk through an installation so that you can see just how quickly you can build one yourself, and demonstrate all of the more advanced tricks you can do with these hyperlocal networks (from using one as a bridge for controlling presentations to using LibraryBox as a LAN for sharing files privately between computers).
One lucky participant will walk away with their very own prebuilt LibraryBox…I’m going to give away the one we build and work with during the workshop to one of the workshop participants.
If you are anywhere in the DC area and just want to learn about LibraryBox, it is possible to register just for the preconference, full attendance at CiL isn’t necessary.
Come and join me! After this workshop, you’ll be a card-carrying LibraryBox expert.
Thanks to a fantastic suggestion from Nate Hoffelder, if you wish to attend the workshop and build your own LibraryBox to tinker on, we’ll do a “build your own” at the very beginning of the session. Here’s a quick list of the things you’ll need in order to do so:
- TP-Link MR3040 router
- A USB drive to use in the LibraryBox. I recommend the SanDisk Cruzer Fit line, and the sweet spot for price/GB looks to be 32GB right now. This is the Boxen’s hard drive, so the larger capacity means more things can be shared.
- A laptop with Ethernet capability, for flashing the router, and the ability to SSH, in order to connect to the LibraryBox you build if you want to further customize it.