The public street library, called BücherboXX, is a project developed by the Institute for Sustainability in Education, Work and Culture (Konrad Kutt) in cooperation with various partners in vocational education and civil society.

It is an inter-professional training project. Young people in vocational training or vocational preparation design the extension and conversion of an old telephone booth as holistically and independently as possible up to the installation and possibly also the initial supervision of the usage phase of the BücherboXX. The aim here is to gather experience and acquire skills:

in various practical professional activities
in sustainable development
inter-professional cooperation
in entrepreneurial thinking and acting (new business fields)
in process and participatory design by involving future users and stakeholders

Among others, the production school Sägewerk Grunewald (GfbM) with a wooden bench and logistics, the OSZ TIEM with solar technology and trainees of the AOK Berlin-Brandenburg with a passers-by survey on the acceptance of the BücherboXX have contributed. According to the principle “Bring a book, take a book, read a book”, citizens exchange their read books in a disused telephone booth that was rebuilt by trainees as part of project training. Simple, instructive, sustainable.

Sustainable concept

The re-use of the old telephone booths, the future-oriented, practical education of young people and the exchange of books make the concept of sustainability visible and tangible for many people in just one project in the everyday life of the city. Recycling conserves resources, independent learning builds up skills and valuable cultural assets are passed on in free exchange.

In summary, the following applies:
“The “Nachhaltige BücherboXX” is regarded as a practical example (project) of a design-oriented “(vocational) education for sustainable development”.

The project consists of two phases:

the sustainable expansion and conversion of old telephone booths into public street libraries, and
the sustainable use of the BücherboXX in civil society responsibility.
The expansion is carried out in cross-professional groups by trainees or vocational school students, whereby the occupation-related acquisition of competence, e.g. in the areas of metal construction, woodworking, product design, painters/varnishers, electronics technicians, is combined with sustainable competences: Naturland certified wood, recycling and conversion, resource efficiency, use of solar energy generation, participation and civil society responsibility.

In addition, there are cultural and creative competences (design) and aspects of political education (e.g. through the thematic reference “Gleis 17” and the Franco-German BücherboXX), which are ideally combined with professional expertise and sustainable development.

Internal school specialists or extra-curricular experts, artists, contemporary witnesses take over the systematic introduction and all participants receive a certificate of participation.

During the conversion, a close exchange (participation) takes place with the future users (e.g. neighbourhood management, district associations, multi-generational houses). Through the free giving and taking of books, it becomes immediately clear what is meant by a sustainable lifestyle and a new economy of bartering and giving.

The use of the BücherboXX is geared towards “sustainable development” through organised supervision, maintenance and care through the voluntary commitment of a caregiver group, for example by developing new forms of communication and book and reading campaigns on relevant topics.
(Status: 25 March 2013/kk)


“Books are too good to be thrown away. It is a good feeling when my old books find a new reader who appreciates them – and I create space for new books” says Andrea Wilke, one of the volunteers. Sometimes the book exchangers literally put their hands together. Often a smile and many nice words are exchanged.

“The BücherboXX enriches the infrastructure and promotes the living together at the place, finds Eva Catrin Reinhardt, business guide of the company rds energies GmbH, which donated a sum of money beside a crate child books for the acquisition of an efficient solar module: ?The use possibility of Photovoltaik as decentral current source on the roof of the BücherboXX works a ?shining?

Several residents and business people who feel responsible for the BücherboXX clean up the shelves, sort the books, ensure cleanliness and replenish the books when the shelves are empty. Also the country wide community of the Bookcrosser discovered the book BXX as a possibility of bringing books into circulation. One would like one additionally the travel way of the books


In 2010, BücherboXX was part of an LSK project (Local Social Capital) for the development and testing of sustainable junior companies in the Steglitz-Zehlendorf district, which was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the State of Berlin.


Additional telephone booths are in the process of being converted for other sites under consideration. Other places, courtyards, neighbourhoods are on the waiting list. Everything speaks for itself: we are already in a real success story.



Contacts and contact persons:
Konrad Kutt INBAK GbR, Trabener Straße 14 b, 14193 Berlin, Germany
Phone: 030 – 8915124




Translated with

This post is also available in: German Polish French