Author Archives: Kathleen

On the value of exploratory research

I don’t know whether neighborhood book exchanges live up to the claims of providing ‘icebreakers’ or ‘literary watercoolers’ for passersby. But I do know that inventorying a book exchange in the early morning rain tends to prompt conversation—at least the “what are you doing?” variety. After explaining that I was contributing to a study of […]
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TL;DR Neighborhood Book Exchanges: Localizing Information Practices

Here’s a Too Long; Didn’t Read account of our first research paper. If you are interested in our project but not interested enough to wade through 30 some pages, then check out this summary. There is something striking in stumbling upon a small hutch perched by the sidewalk and filled with books. It is unexpected, […]
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What is exchanged through a neighborhood book exchange? – Part I: Method in the madness

How do you determine how frequently a neighborhood book exchange is used? Or what items are exchanged? Our method: we took weekly inventories for six different book exchanges over a twelve week period. In this series, we’ll discuss our results. But, first, we take a look at the pros and cons of our approach.   […]
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NooX origins: A punctuated history of book exchanges

Where did the idea for a neighborhood book exchange begin? A collection of books with an open invitation to exchange is not an uncommon sight, especially in hostels and coffee shops. However, the idea of installing a book exchange as a free-standing structure in a neighborhood is different. And we wonder where that idea originated. […]
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