LibraryBox: Boxing the Internet

Mr Hasitha Thalaththani Ralalage1

1Deakin University, Geelong, Australia,


Websites and online file sharing services have become so ubiquitous and accessible, that most of us take them for granted. But what about when we don’t have access to fast, cheap or unrestricted access to the internet?

Meet the LibraryBox:  an inexpensive portable webserver that will serve rich digital content without requiring an internet connection!

Early this year Deakin University Library, in conjunction with a Humanities and Social Sciences researcher, developed an oral history website to showcase Papua New Guineans’ experiences of World War 2. The aim of this project was to help keep alive memories and war stories handed down through the generations, and share them with others around the world. The website PNG Voices arose out of this project.

However, many parts of Papua New Guinea don’t have access to a reliable or cheap internet, so PNG Voices was largely inaccessible to many Papua New Guineans. The LibraryBox provided us with an excellent opportunity to bridge this gap between poor internet infrastructure and a multi-media rich website.

Hosting a full-blown website utilising advanced server technologies, on a low powered device proved to be challenging. This talk discusses how we overcame the challenges and how the LibraryBox can be a useful tool for the Australian eResearch community.

Among the advantages, LibraryBox:

  • Provides a quick and easy method of sharing large data sets over a local area network wirelessly
  • Allows sharing data without needing to rely on third party infrastructure or network restrictions
  • Provides a secure, inexpensive, low-power consuming data sharing platform

Enables sharing of data sets or websites at remote locations


Hasitha Thalaththani Ralalage is a DevOps Engineer at the Deakin University Library. He provides creative technical solutions to challenging problems in the digital libraries and repositories space. In his current role, he contributes to the development, administration and maintenance of the University’s research publication management, repository and reporting systems.


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