Libraries are the best way to give everyone, no matter their income or background, access to information and entertainment. But that only works for those who live nearby and have access to the infrastructure. For Swedes who live in the remote islands in the Stockholm archipelago, there’s no need to worry about access to knowledge, they have the bokbåten.
The bokbåten, the Stockholm county library boatlcarrying about 3,000 literary works on board, supplies the inhabitants of 23 islands in the Stockholm archipelago with books every spring and fall.
Of course, there’s a high demand for the latest best-sellers, so inhabitants can order copies in advance.
According to Literary Hub, which got a tour of the bokbåten, “There are tall wooden shelves, large tables displaying sturdy hardcovers, book carts on wheels, a long checkout table, even event notices taped against the wall. There are picture books for children, popular thrillers, large-print books, texts about history and science and knitting, cookbooks, and audiobooks. Since island residents can order copies in advance, boxes of books are stacked around the boat waiting to be delivered.”
The service, run by volunteers and funded by the Regional Library in Stockholm and the towns it serves, has existed since 1953 and is the oldest library boat in Scandinavia.
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