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Populsdorfer Eli a street of city Bon in Germany, where the books are kept in a cupboard, Niether have any lock nor any alarm. People open the cupborard and take the books with them and after reading the same they reshelf the book. 

This is a phenomenal library of Book-lovers in the Bon city of Germeney. The name given to this library is “Ofner Buesher Shronk” which means “the open shelf of Books”. Nine years ago the idea was given by a university student which now become a blessing for Book Lovers.


Thus it began -

A person linked to this project Mr. Andre Shlog says that, Their Citizen Foundation “Buerger Shtefutung” organizes a competition every year. In this event participents are supposed to give new ideas for welfare of Bon City. In 2002 a university student has proposed to make this kind of library. The members of “Buerger Shtefutung” have liked this idea very much. In 2003 it had taken shape and the first Open book cupboard had been started. Now these have been increased to 6. 2 cupboards have been placed at hospitals and other places. Each and every year a new cupboard get placed somewhere. 

Benifits to people of all age groups -   

According to Shlog, “In 2013 the first cupboard would complete its 10 years. Children, Sinior Citizens, Ladies, and students all take benefits daily. Always It gets surrounded by the crowd.” It is very much useful to those who can’t afford buying expensive books, but want to read. They are just supposed to come to this cupboard.

Circulation of Two Thousand Books -    

300 books are kept in each cupboard. There are total of 2000 books in all cupboards of the city. These books get replaced with 2-3 days. The benifit of same is that each time readers get new books and even at no cost. Lthough most of the books are available in germen only, but some time people put some books of English and Turkish too.

Fifty Cities have accepted the model -   

In the short period of time this model of phenomenal library started from the Bon city has been become popular up to great extent. At present the libraries based on this model are being run in more than 50 cities of Germeny. Shlog says on every weekend we receive phone calls from different cities asking information about the open cupboard. We wish that this type of system should be created in all over the world so that people could read more and more books.

Respect for Books -   

On question of book lose or non-return of books Shlog says the local people have a great respect for books. They do not make any damage to books. The people who take the books also reshelf the books. According to Shlog They daily passes through the cupboard kept in the Populsdorfer Eli street. Every day new books are seen to them.

The opening of Citizen Foundation “Buerger Shtefutung” has been made by 170 members. Each and every members has collected 500 Euro or more. Using the interest of this amount organization run different walfare scheme. The newspaper is also published for 6 to 10 years children quarterly. 30 Thousand Euros get spent on Idea competition every year.



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When we start anything there are always involvement of risk, sometime less or more... but if we tie-up with road side vendor who are little bit sensetive and ready to put their little effort (like tea-stall at campus and near to Govt. Dept. Office) than definatly it works. We try to convience vendor if some one come for tea and find books on your shop for reading free of cost that is extra benefit for your customer and they try to come regular and invest more time on your shop than automatically your business get benefit...


Yes, It will good idea for literacy campaign and for book lovers. But, in my opinion, in INDIA, it will not possible because peoples are not responsible for don't care about anything wchich is freely and easily available. Library on Foothpath only possible in abroad where peoples are literate or much aware about their rights and duties. So, in negative side, Library on Foothpath, not only in India, but in sub-continent(South Asia), is only  possible at any cost.

But it will good idea, and efforts could be made in this side for a better starting.

Thanks to all.



I am library technology solution, I still have seen resistance in using any new technology by the library professional world especially in India be it RFID, MARC21 or ISO 2709, etc. But it is not the case that librarian do not want to learn or adopt new technologies, challenge is not only on the commercial aspect of the solution but also on the adequate training for the same. 

I agree with Mr. Aanad Jha, tie up with not only tea vendor but branded coffee showroom like Cafe Coffee Day or chain of coffee shops or Coffee Shops this will the coffee shop to provide additional services with a condition that they will take care of the book racks and books. Second level there are book vending machine available which can be installed at different metro / railway station / shopping malls, etc. where users can be given authorized cards to use the book vending machine...

Thanks and Regards

R Sunil Kumar


Thanks for your kind words Mr. Sharma

Library on Footpath is a great idea sir. It is implement first  with in University campus roads. This will definately helpful for the students in india. All the librarians are do test trial in their colleges. Students are welcome and enjoy the reading of bookd in university parks and othe places where they like places.

Yes this is a possible way of using "Library in Cupboard". There is RFID Solution called smart Cupboard, this can be integrated with library management software and with the help of the smart cards, students, faculty or anybody can issue the books without the intervention of the library staff and same way they can return the book to the "Library in Cupboard". All books will be pasted with RFID tags. Library staff will get auto update on the issue, return, overdue books, etc on the system without going individually taking control of the "Library in Cupboard".

Innovative idea, In India this may not work , I am sorry to say that here thousands of people are sleeping on footpath . If we start footpath library overnight books will disappear or reach to chana wala shop or old paper walas.

I am not agree with the opinion of Ms. Vinita Jain, because I think people sleeping on footpaths are not have the habit of theft, otherwise the would not be sleeping on footpath, they may also have respect towards books. It might be possible that people also sleep on footpath in Germany as well. We should not underestimate our country so much. People are not sleeping on footpath in our country only because of the situation or politicians of our country. The reasons may be created by their own.

I am fully agree with Mr.Tiwari .We should always follow the positive attitude.Respected Vinita is right by her side of thinking.It also can happen some times but we should find out slutions of the problems....

Better we focus on the "Footpath Libraries" rather than who is thief or not !! Think how we can use this system to spread knowledge to people... true stealing is a problem, but that should be the reason of not adopting the technology !!! 

Absolutely right Mr. Sunil Kumar.


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