For Doctor Who fans, there aren’t many more iconic vehicles than the TARDIS. The large, blue police box that houses an impossibly larger interior, the TARDIS is the time machine that the eponymous Doctor Who uses to sail through the ages, finding adventure, excitement, and danger on his way. And now it’s also the site of a Detroit-area library, thanks to an industrious fan with a penchant for the written word.
The man in question is Dan Zemke, who decided to make use of a vacant lot in his neighborhood by building a makeshift TARDIS and housing a free library inside—a community service of the highest order. The project reportedly took a lot of time and effort, which isn’t surprising―according to the Verge, the whole thing weighs nearly a ton and stands 10 feet tall―and it’s now up and running, so to speak.
Needless to say, this isn’t the sort of library where you have to check books out and check them back in. Rather, it operates on a sort of honor system, inviting passersby to take out a book and leave one of their own in its place if they so desire. In other words, the common good, dressed up in the trappings of the BBC’s flagship sci-fi television program.
As the Detroit Free Press detailed, Zemke changed up the acronym behind the name TARDIS. In the show, it stands for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space,” but if you ever happen upon the Detroit version, it stands for something quite different.
“We changed the name to Totally Awesome Reading Dispensary in Society,” Zemke said. “At first, I thought this was going to take about a month, but it unfolded into a much longer and awesome project.
If you’re interested in visiting this awesome new library experience, you can find it at the corner of Warren Ave. and Vermont St. in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood. Just make sure you don’t take a book out without returning or replacing it, because this is probably going to be a very popular spot.
H/T the Verge