ASU students aim to turn used food trucks into mobile school libraries

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A group of students at Arizona State University (ASU) has proposed a revamp of the traditional bookmobile—one that aims to provide the services of a school library to schools that may not have access to that resource any longer. The design, dubbed Bibliotrucka, aims to take advantage of the proliferation of food trucks in the Phoenix area, recycling out of commission trucks into modular moving libraries that can be customized on a day-to-day basis for students of different learning levels and cultural backgrounds.

Students Alex Miller, Jasmine Clarke-Telfer, and Elijah Allan came up with the idea while working together in their Changemaking in Education course at ASU. Professor Nikki Gusz told Library Journal that the class is a way to challenge students to tackle real-life problems in the world of education. “The focus of the class is education, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” said Gusz. “Current teachers posed a challenge they were facing in their schools and communities, and students took it on themselves to propose solutions.”

When Miller, Clarke-Telfer, and Allan were being presented with the issues faced by the Phoenix-area schools they were seeking to assist, the issue of libraries struck particularly close to home for all three. “Elijah, Jasmine and myself all had very fond memories of utilizing public libraries and school libraries growing up,” Miller told Library Journal. “All of us were shocked that some schools did not have libraries.”

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