Mahatma Gandhi's teachings have found many forms in terms of how people follow them, but a unique initiative by three youngsters could well qualify in the top bracket. Their idea - to share. And how? Online, through a sharing platform where people can put up physical items like books, movies, albums, video games, etc. and allow others to borrow whatever they want from the library.
Librorum - The Sharing Community, as the founders call their idea, was started by three 12th graders. "We do this during holidays and any other free time we get. We have loads of discussions and small meetings. It took us about 4 months to develop the concept and about 2 months to execute. We developed everything ourselves, right from the website to our designs," says Mayank Bansal, one of the founders who along with Yash Pahade and Yash Mehrotra, came up with idea to give 'our community something new'.
"We've incorporated a way of sharing with our neighbours, a way of trying things before we buy them. For example, you want to buy a new video game, you can try it out first by borrowing it from someone, then you can buy it from a store if you like it. If you didn't like it, Librorum saved your time and money. Or imagine you want to learn how to play the Guitar; some people will buy a really expensive guitar, get bored and then leave it to rot. They can now borrow it from someone who's put it on Librorum, try it out and see if they like it. We've organised our library to make things easy to find," says Mayank, who has got help from behind-the-scenes people like Siddharth Sreelal, their Technical Advisor & Software Architect, Arjhun Srinivas.
Librorum also has a credit system where lenders get credits when someone borrows their item. They can use them for borrowing something else.
"We at Librorum, monitor what's going on our site. We do not allow digital copies of anything. All the items on our site are actual physical items. The thought was to bring in something other than online digital sharing; something like off-line physical sharing which is influenced online. We only provide a platform for people to see what's around them. Librorum does not support piracy, we are trying to achieve something else," says Mayank.
Right now, they are testing the site in closed communities and a few apartments. They are also working on a global version which could be launched in the first quarter next year.
"We do have presentations now and then to show people what Librorum is about. We are introducing this in schools and basically want to make Librorum more of an experience rather than another website. It's all about sharing and the experience of meeting new people around you and sharing things with them and becoming their friend," says Mayank.
Librorum currently is managed by the three on Saturdays and Sundays and they take the time to get as much feedback as possible from the users. "Librorum is still very small and experimenting with things, we plan to expand and make this a really big project," says Mayank.
As for the response, according to Mayank, they have been experiencing a positive feedbacks from the community. "We have lots of requests to expand Librorum and allow physical appliances like Guitars, Grinders, Lawn Mowers, Tool Boxes, Baby Toys, etc. So we think its going great," he says.
Librorum was launched in May this year and they are still looking for someone to help them make their idea hit the red carpet.
To know more, go to http://www.librorum.in/beta