The Jyväskylä City Library is trialling a novel kind of ride-sharing service for home delivery of library books. The library’s customers are being offered the opportunity to order books direct to their door, and return them via the same service. The deliveries are made through the PiggyBaggy ride-sharing service for goods, in which ordinary people carry the books while completing other tasks and journeys. The trial forms part of the Towards Resource Wisdom initiative shared by Sitra and the City of Jyväskylä.

The service is an example of ideas for a new sharing economy, in which IT and mobile technology are used to facilitate increasingly fluid and convenient shared use of diverse resources, such as goods, facilities, vehicles and competence. In this respect, shared use may refer to borrowing, renting or swapping, or perhaps the offering of small favours.

The sharing economy is considered to be one of the most promising action models for the future, because it allows for many times the current value to be obtained from a single investment. There are already many business models based on the idea of sharing around the world, such as carsharing and AirBnB accommodation services.

In Finland, libraries are obvious partners for trials of new kinds of sharing, as they have been implementing the idea in their own field for decades.

The Jyväskylä library pilot is intended to test how crowdsourcing of transports works in practice, and to find out the requirements and challenges faced by new services of this kind in Finland. The pilot project and a related survey will investigate, for example, how much demand there is for crowdsourced goods transport, whether there are any practical, psychological or legal obstacles and whether the service is financially viable. The environmental impact of the home deliveries will also be examined, i.e. whether they reduce or increase car travel.

The pilot project is taking place during spring 2014 as a collaboration between Sitra and the Jyväskylä City Library.

Read more

YLE, 25 February 2014 (in Finnish): Tulevaisuudessa tavaratkin voivat kulkea kimppakyydillä
YLE, 17 March 2014 (in Finnish): Tavarakimppakyyti vaatii luottamusta kanssakuljettajaan

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