A Streetcar Named Book – adapting a streetcar into a library on wheels, along with musical installations and programs

The project was awarded 1st prize at the 73rd World Library and Information Congress in Durban in 2007.

On the occasion of the 50th Book Fair in Belgrade in 2005, BCL contributed to promoting literature in an unusual and innovative way. The Library borrowed a streetcar from the Public Transport Company “Belgrade” and adapted it into a “streetcar made of books”. The streetcar operated from the Library to the Belgrade Fair during the Book Fair and also (due to the positive response) for two months after its end.

With an appropriate design, the streetcar was branded outside and inside. The streetcar’s interior, in addition to posters explaining the meaning of the project and other library promotional materials, was specially equipped. Magazines for literature and other cultural fields, as well as catalogues of publishing houses, were attached to the seats and handrails. Thus, every passenger could browse through them while driving. Also, poetic and literary audio recordings acquired from Radio Belgrade archives were played over the sound system in the streetcar. In special boxes, there were vouchers for obtaining a BCL membership card with a 50% discount. The tram drivers wore t-shirts and caps of the Library. Several children’s workshops and jazz improvisations were held on the streetcar, which gave the impression of a “library on wheels”.

Objectives of the project:

  • Promoting the Book Fair and books in general;
  • Promoting the Library as one of the most important institutions related to books;
  • Raising the quality of the capital’s cultural life;
  • “Bringing literature to life” by implementing it into everyday life (riding in the streetcar).


Due to highly favourable reactions, the project lasted three years, from 2005 to 2008, and then had its variants with a bus named book.

BCL implemented the project in cooperation with Public Transport Company “Belgrade” and Masel Group. In 2007, the Italian Cultural Institute participated as a partner.

Project value: 300,000.00 dinars per year
Realization period: The project was realized three years in a row - 2005/6/7, during the Book Fair in Belgrade