Public library's card catalog and books linked by scent


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it’s not that it’s an outright-bad idea, but fairly bizarre and esoteric. one wonders if the cost of the implementation in terms of labor-hours and I guess the perfumes was ever offset by the value to the users. I mean, what percentage of library users went there to research recipes? If it was a lot, then perhaps I’m wrong, but I’d need to see some big numbers to convince me. plus some people have bad reactions to strong scents. In a closed environment, how did the smell of the books not just blend into one big garbage-smelling cloud?


Wes Anderson is already looking for a way to incorporate this into his next movie.


a collab with John Waters!

The scents in order are:
Model Building Glue
Natural Gas
New Car Smell
Smelly Shoes
Air Freshener


Evidently, my local library has done this too. When I smell a card in the catalog, it has an odor of old, slightly musty paper. And then when I locate the corresponding book on the shelf - sure enough, same old musty paper smell. Amazing.


Ha! no surprise it didn’t catch on given the problem of cross-contamination - smell-o-rama had a similar issue, given the differening temporal frequencies of odours (given their molecular weights and differences in behaviour). But this is also a reminder that pretty much anything you can do with scent has already been done (and many times over) and that making, communicating and learning with scent is anybody’s game. and ya, libraries and books already have loads of wonderful odours, nevermind the sensory sideshows…



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