A total of 19,000 books have been distributed by the city of Girona in the first year of life of the "Rivers de Llibres" project. The initiative, as a result of the collaboration between the entity Connection Papyrus and the City Council of Girona, started on August 2, 2018 with a single point of distribution of specimens at the bus station in Girona and with the aim of bringing readings to places of city influx of the city.
Since then, the initiative has been extended by the municipality with the opening of four more distribution points: at the La Mercè Cultural Center, the Montilivi Campus Library and the Biblioteca del Campus Vell de la Universitat de Girona and, finally, at the facilities of the Sant Adrià de Girona (GEIEG) Group. All these spaces have shelves with books that anyone can take for free. The catalog is renewed quarterly.
"Rivers de Llibres" was born as a cultural project promoted jointly by the City Council of Girona and the Connection Papyrus entity. The objective of the initiative was to develop a project that facilitated access to second-hand books in places with a large influx of citizens, thus encouraging reading among citizens.
The name of the project alludes to the fact that Girona "is a city surrounded by rivers", that "the houses of the Onyar are a good postal emblem of the municipality" and that "the books move and flow, as if they were rivers, "the Girona City Council explains in a statement. These are the starting point for a project that aims to extend the useful life of the books and, at the same time, encourage reading among citizens
The two organizations collaborate regularly, since the Connection Papyrus entity is one of those that receives funds from the municipal libraries that are discharged and that may be of interest in the work carried out. In addition, it is one of the places where it is aimed at people who have an interest in donating private funds that do not fit into the city's libraries. In addition to Papyrus Connection, the CIMALSA project, the managing entity of the point located at the bus station, also collaborates; the University of Girona, and the GEiEG.
The possibility of acquiring books in places in a city for free is a tendency extended for many years in countries around the world. In fact, there is a concept to define this type of disinterested exchange of second-hand books, with the aim of giving them a second or even a third life. It's about it bookcrossing, an Anglo-Saxon term that is used to refer to the release of books. The original idea is to leave books at certain points in a city – a bank, a park or a cafe – so that someone finds it and can read it.
The practice of bookcrossing Originally emerged in the United States in 2001. The main objective was to share books that had already been read previously. To do this, a web page was created to track each copy, in such a way that its trace could be observed and interconnected to its readers. The BookCrossing website was used to leave an opinion of what the book seemed like to the reader. In the same way, he could explain where he had left him, getting an urban map with all the books available for free. Over the years, the practice has spread throughout Europe also reaching Spain, where there is also a web portal to register freedoms.
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