An homage to the Department of Homeland Security’s color-coded Advisory System, the Bookmobile’s collection is similarly color-coded in a pale imitation of the now familiar five color system. Unlike the original, a system that attempts to simplify a complex set of political ideas, the Bookmobile’s subject index seeks to highlight the complicated and far ranging issues embedded in the concept of the border.
The subject index is arranged by categories that refer to the kinds of movements (things and people), identities, cartographies and emotions that geographical borders engender: these are color-coded in warm tones, oranges and yellows. The index also has cool-colored categories for local urban processes such as demolition and nostalgia. These subjects have been established to trace the gradual unbuilding of the Detroit-Windsor region as contiguous border cities.
All categories are marked by sticky notes (ranging from orange to grey) placed on significant images or passages. Some items may cross-reference several of the index categories, while others may only fit in one or two sections.
Bookmobile readers are invited to stamp and label categories as they see fit, and to identify new categories that reflect new perspectives on the subject of borders.