FAQ – The Digibruted Library of Geneva

Posted: February 4, 2011 in In bad English

[french version is there]

The name digibruted is coined from “Digital” and “Distributed”. It does not mean that the library is brutalized by digital attacks, but rather that the library is a digital construction, indexing real assets (books in this case) distributed in the real world.

Real books into the Cyberspace. David Billard, February 03, 2011.

What is the Digibruted Library of Geneva?

It’s an exchange marketplace mixed with a library.


From childhood, I read. A lot. I take books from libraries, or I buy them. And the books I buy, I keep them. At the begining, it was just filing a shelf in a student room, then the number of books expanded, shelves upon shelves have been colonized, cases, crates, and who know what else. I’m currently drowning among books, I don’t have any more space where I can store these awful books. They are invading my living space. I have to find a solution.

Just burn them!

Well, no. I cannot set my mind to part from them. It’s stronger than me. You know, for a period of time, the time needed to read the book, I had a liaison with this book. It would be so cruel to throw it away.

Then  give it for free to a library!

The problem is that the libraies have their own collections, their own agendas, a limited storage space and are not willingly accept books in any state.

So how does it work, this system of yours?

It is simple, really.

I have a book, I make it available in the virtual library. Another person wants, craves, to read this book. The person contacts me via email, we met, and this person becomes the holder of the book. If a third person wants the book, the person contacts the holder of the book, they met, etc.

But what is the interest compared to a real, traditional library?

  • The storage space is distributed (hence the name “digital” and “distributed”) among the user of the library. It is the first peer-to-peer library 🙂
  • There is no need of staff to manage the books, each book holder manages his own books (the one he holds): in the same time, he is “borrower”, “donor” and “librarian”
  • There is no expiration date to manage when you borrow a book, because as long as the book is not claimed for it is kept by the holder. If the holder does not want to keep the book, he calls for (real) libraries, bookstores and initial owner. If nobody answers after a fixed period of time, the book can be destroyed by the holder. Yes, I know, it is harsh.

But how much will it cost me?

Borrowing a book is free (you pay nothing). The computer platform will need a viable economical model to run

I have an ebook. Will it work for e-books?

Yes, as long as the e-book can be transfered on a compatible reader (that’s not for tomorrow).

What’s the relation with an exchange marketplace?

Well, we exchange book against other books. The difference is that it is not necessarily with the same person, the exchange market place is not limited in time and there exists an index of all the books of the Digibruted library.

Why Geneva?

Because it will works better if people are not geographically far from each other. And at the moment the intended public is Geneva and it’s region at large (close France is concerned).

  1. Taavi says:

    it’s a fascinating idea. is it still only a plan? I see here no pointers to working examples. let me know

  2. digilioge says:

    Last year, some students worked on a computer platform as a semester project, but it does not end as a viable project. If you are interested, I can propose it to another student group (hopefully more convincing). Are you around Geneva?

  3. digilioge says:

    Well, at first it was an idea, then students came for a semester project. The dlp is interesting, but it seems stalled since 2004. So maybe it is not a good idea 😦

    • Taavi says:

      maybe the timing wasn’t right. I did write to the original author to see why did it failed or stopped. i am sending some emails to see if that’s something people might want to take up again. i myself find the idea facinating. would you also be interested in contributing, for example, your ideas into the discussion if the occassion arises?

    • Ricardo says:

      Hello everybody!!!
      I’ve been thinking myself about something like this for quite a while. i do agree, “maybe the timing wasn’t right”. Please contact me if you’re still interested on this idea and let’s talk about new approaches. 🙂

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