Almaty (Алматы), the former capital city of Kazakhstan could be anywhere in the FSU when it comes to reading and a love for books. Book collections in homes and attendance at book fairs are a popular scene in Eastern Europe and Asia.
Local university students have launched a project for a mobile reading room in Almaty through the end of August. The idea is to move the mobile library to a new location every two weeks. The locations are city parks with volunteers running the venture from 9 am to 8 pm.
Designed by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the cabinet consists of open cubes which are mounted and held together with magnets. The design makes it very easy to pack, move and quickly reassemble.
Every venture has to start somewhere and this summer the project is operating with an inventory of about 300 books, most written in English, Kazakh and Russian languages with titles from children’s literature to history to novels. So far the library is busy most every day as readers come to sit in the park and read for an hour or two.