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A Virtual Library on the Subway? Maybe Someday A Virtual Library on the Subway? Maybe Someday

A Virtual Library on the Subway? Maybe Someday

by Meghan Neal

March 21, 2013

Any hustling, tech-savvy New Yorker knows there's just one place where you're forced to totally disconnect from the digital world: underground. 

Enter these enterprising students from Miami Ad School, who hope to create a virtual library that's accessible inside a subway car, from your smartphone.  
 
It solves two problems at once: filling the web-less time spent riding the train every day, and encouraging folks to utilize the public library again. Take a look at their vision:
 

Here's how it works, via Mashable:

Their project would let subway passengers peruse virtual stacks on the walls of the metro car. Using near-field communication (NFC) technology found in smartphones, commuters could scan book titles that appear on advertisements inside the car. The first ten pages of the book would be be free of charge, then a map would pop up to direct users to the nearest library branch so they could finish what they started and check out the book.

I'm not holding my breath that this will become reality any time soon, but am comforted to see more and more subway stations following the lead of these six by making WiFi available on the platform. For better or worse it looks like in the future, we'll be plugged even while we're in the air, and under the ground.

This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship—weekly steps to being an active, engaged global citizen. This week: Take an Alternate Route. Follow along and join the conversation at good.is/citizenship and on Twitter at #goodcitizen.

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