Garbage collectors open library with abandoned books

Garbage collectors in Ankara, Turkey browse for books at a library made up entirely of abandoned books.

Story highlights

  • Garbage collectors open library with abandoned books.
  • Over 6,000 books available to the public.

(CNN)A library in Ankara gives new meaning to the notion that books are timeless.

Garbage collectors in the Turkish capital have opened a public library comprised entirely of books once destined for the landfills.
    The library, located in the Çankaya district of Ankara, was founded after sanitation workers started collecting discarded books.
    For months, the garbage men gathered forsaken books. As word of the collection spread, residents also began donating books directly.
    A garbage collector in Ankara browses for books at the library.
    Initially, the books were only for employees and their families to borrow. But as the collection grew and interest spread throughout the community, the library was eventually opened to the public in September of last year.
    "We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened," said Çankaya Mayor Alper Tasdelen, whose local government oversaw the opening of the library.
    Today, the library has over 6,000 books ranging from literature to nonfiction. There is also a popular kid's section with comic books and an entire section for scientific research. Books in English and French are also available for bilingual visitors.
    The library is housed in a previously vacant brick factory at the sanitation department headquarters. With an aged brick façade and long corridors, the space was ideal for a library.
    The library is housed in an old brick factory at the headquarters of the city's sanitation department.