The Underground Library by Keri Tan,
Max Pilwat and Ferdi Rodriguez

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This virtual library shelf would let New York subway passengers read the first 10 pages of a book on their smartphones before directing them to the nearest library to pick up a hard copy (+ movie).

The Underground Library by Keri Tan, Max Pilway and Ferdi Rodriguez

The Underground Library was proposed by three students from the Miami Ad School as a way of encouraging the public to visit various branches of New York Public Library.

The Underground Library by Keri Tan, Max Pilway and Ferdi Rodriguez

Art directors Keri Tan and Max Pilwat worked with copywriter Ferdi Rodriguez to create a virtual bookshelf that passengers can access by swiping their phone against a poster.

The Underground Library by Keri Tan, Max Pilway and Ferdi Rodriguez

There's no WiFi on the subway, but using the Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology found in many of the latest smartphones, passengers would be able to download the first 10 pages of their chosen book free of charge.

The Underground Library by Keri Tan, Max Pilway and Ferdi Rodriguez

NFC is a wireless, non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data between two devices held centimetres apart.

The Underground Library by Keri Tan, Max Pilway and Ferdi Rodriguez

When they leave the subway, a map pops up on their phone pointing out the nearest library branches where they can pick up a hard copy.

The Underground Library by Keri Tan, Max Pilway and Ferdi Rodriguez

Last December, UK firm Foster + Partners unveiled plans to overhaul New York Public Library's flagship building on Fifth Avenue by inserting a new lending library into unused reading rooms and stacks.

We recently reported that America's first digital public library without a single book is set to open in San Antonio, Texas – see all libraries on Dezeen.

Here's some more information from the designers:


Miami Ad School Student Project: A Simple Solution to help New York's Empty Libraries

Now that the internet is available almost anywhere, people are able to do "instant research" to learn about anything on their smartphones. The New York Public Library wants to remind New Yorkers that they are still a valuable resource, and a free service.

NYPL wants to take your usual subway ads and make them into something fun and entertaining. They want to give New Yorkers something productive to do on the subway instead of their everyday people watching.
New Yorkers will be given a free digital book sample to read on their way to work. Once finished they will be informed of the closest libraries so they could finish their story.

Underground Library is a fictional student campaign, thought up by Max Pilwat, Keri Tan and Ferdi Rodriguez, three Miami Ad School students. This video explains how the campaign would work if it were adopted by the client.

Agency: Miami Ad School
Art Directors: Keri Tan & Max Pilwat
Copywriter: Ferdi Rodriguez

  • http://twitter.com/rissa_ny @rissa_ny

    Yes, yes and more yes, I love this idea. I hope this'll be a reality everywhere one day.

  • BiblioNFC

    Like most advertising, it does not seem to inform that you are only getting a portion of the book. Ten pages is not enough for most subway rides. The first chapter would be more effective and still within copyright guidelines, if publishers agreed.

    • Chris

      God, there’s never enough. Be happy you’re getting anything for free.

  • antichx

    Already done, in Romania, last year: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/physical-digita

    • Chris

      Sorry, but as with the lightbulb and the jet plane, the Americans have a tendency towards stealing ideas and passing them off as their own.

  • Marc

    Is that guy using an iPhone with NFC?