Inviting people to suggest a useful book and getting individuals to buy copies, they can be put in public spaces like The Blind Poet. The Ragged University project has chosen to buy a bookcase from Greyfriar’s Kirk Grassmarket Community project.

The reasoning is so that the money for the bookcase goes to a good cause, and that it links to the great history of the Ragged Schools as Greyfriar’s Kirk is where the Reverend Thomas Guthrie worked from to champion free education…


This project is an artifact of a proof of concept which met with physical limitations. The member of the community who was involved in inviting suggestions from people moved on – many thanks to Paul Whittaker for his time.  With regard to the notion of holding a bookcase in physical space, we found that physical space is at a premium in Edinburgh and nowhere was willing to host this and local libraries did not bond to the idea of shelves which were filled by community choices.


Nevertheless, the idea that individuals were/are happy to suggest a book which they feel is of great learning value proved right and holding these suggestions in digital space is feasible.  If you have a suggestion which you would like to put into this virtual space get in touch via the contact page.


List of Books


Working with the Beltane Beacon for Public Engagement and Edinburgh City of Literature to pilot, the idea is to accumulate a booklist that members of the public are encouraged to buy to be put in social places. Inside the front cover will be included the information of:

  • Who suggested the book
  • What area of life they work in
  • Where they work
  • Who bought the book for the public


 You can contribute by Clicking Here


The bookcase has been made from a pew by Greyfriar’s Kirk Community project and placed in the Blind Poet pub.  If you have a book which you want to put on the shelf, please take it along and put it on the shelf.  Let us know about the donation and we can list it on the website.


1.  Oldenburg, Ray (1989). The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and How They Get You Through the Day. New York: Paragon House. ISBN 978-1-55778-110-9.