Community: Share your books and share enjoyment

Community groups can now set up online book sharing groups at very little cost, thanks to the free source code and advice that is being made available today by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

Bookshares give people an opportunity to share the books they own with other members of their community. Now the free to use code allows anyone, with a small amount of help from a web designer, to easily create their own community website where people can upload their books for others to view and borrow.

NESTA has created a short, fun animation which explains what a bookshare is, and how to set one up to make it as easy as possible for community groups, local authorities and even schools to create their own versions.

Combined with making the code freely available, the aim is to ensure that thousands of books that are lying dormant in homes are made available for the wider benefit of the community.

Deborah Fox, programme manager at NESTA, says: ‘Rather than letting our books just sit around collecting dust, bookshares are a great way for people to lend and share books that might not otherwise be available.

“By making the source code available and free for everyone to use, together with a ‘how to’ video, we hope to see community bookshares springing up across the country.”

To view the video and to download the code visit www.nesta.org.uk/bookshare