Labeling trends have been making many interesting projects possible, but an initiative in one Austrian city is currently doing something particularly noteworthy – using scannable labeling and online databases to create a publicly accessible repository of local literature.
Although it hosts the annual Festival of German-Language Literature, the Austrian city of Klagenfurt has never actually had a public library. It still doesn't, but a local effort called Project Ingeborg – named for Austrian poet and Klagenfurt native Ingeborg Bachmann – is seeking to make great literary works available to the public through an innovative scheme that relies on labels with QR codes and users with smartphones.
The way it works is simple. Coded labels are posted throughout the city. When individuals scan them using their smartphones or other devices, they are directed to web pages where they can download public domain literary works. According to online publication Engadget, Project Ingeborg has placed 70 stickers so far, as of July 10.
Most of the works available through this initiative are drawn from Project Gutenberg, an organization founded by Michael Hart in 1971, which works to maintain and expand an online library of digitized books. Today, over 30,000 pieces of literature are available through Project Gutenberg, including classic works from Homer, Shakespeare and the Bible.
The founders of Project Ingeborg hope to expand the initiative to include reference information, music and works of art. Although this group is operating as a non-profit, their innovative project should serve to alert private businesses to the potential that scannable labeling has in terms of making it possible to put a new spin on old services.