The Ideas Box, the brainchild of the non-profit Libraries Without Borders, fits the equivalent of a small-town library on two standard shipping pallets. It comes with books and e-readers, tablets, laptops, cameras and other creative tools, and a range of digital tools like Khan Academy. Since camps might not have internet access or power, it comes with its own. The boxes that hold all of the devices convert into tables and chairs.
The story is developed by Adele Peters, writing for Fast Company, a creative design site dedicated to innovative solutions for the way we live now:
'In the camps, the durable kits were set up in simple thatched huts. In a natural disaster, they can also be set up with essentially no construction.
'Before setting up an Ideas Kit, the organization works with the local community to determine which content is needed—what local health organizations might need, or schools, and which languages are needed. In the Burundi camps, resources come in both Swahili and French.
'Like a regular library, the Ideas Box issues library cards, which users swipe every time they check out a book or use one of the online resources. The organization can track how much each resource is used.'
It may not stop there. Libraries Without Borders is considering extending the idea to poorer communities at home and maybe setting up libraries in existing but under-used library buildings...