To mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty, young people from France and Berlin gave their own demonstration of cooperation between the two countries. From 14 to 31 January 2013, they worked together to transform a French telephone booth into a public sidewalk library: a sustainable “book box.” Their work took place at the Oberstufenzentrum für Konstruktionsbautechnik, a vocational school for structural engineering. The telephone booth was donated by Orange, France’s telephone company, which is one of the French partners supporting the project, along with Maison de L’Europe Yvelines and the Académie Versailles. Conversely, an old yellow telephone booth from Germany was sent to the Lycée Adrienne Bolland, a school in Possy, which cooperates with young design and carpentry students from the Marcel-Breuer-Schule in Berlin-Weissensee.
The participating students acquire additional professional, social, and ecological skills. Creativity and teamwork are a high priority, as well as involving future users of the “book box.” This “library” is uncomplicated and free of charge; its motto is “Bring a book, take a book, read a book.” The Franco-German “Bücherboxx” will be put up temporarily at prominent locations around the city before moving to the Centre Français de Berlin in Wedding, where it will ensure a lively exchange of books in the neighborhood. Thematic priorities will be Franco-German reconciliation and relations and the French language and culture. Young people will also be able to find out more about exchange programs in their neighboring country. The Bücherboxx will be officially unveiled on 19 April 2013 at the Centre Français de Berlin.