June 11, 2013

Little Free Libraries around Lower Manhattan


Have you picked up your summer reading yet? Ten Little Free Libraries opened in Lower Manhattan in May and will remain open until September 1. Holding no more than about 20 books, these tiny spaces offer the “take a book, return a book” model. A full map of library locations is available here.

A joint project of the PEN World Voices Festival and the Architectural League of New York, the libraries were designed and built by the winners of an architectural competition. They are stocked with donations from publishers and looked after by community partners such as the Cooper Union, Henry Street Settlement and La MaMa Experiential Theater.

Little Free Libraries, as we’ve mentioned before, are tiny lending libraries with no membership requirements or late fees. Established less than three years ago as a part of Wisconsin Partners for SustainAbility, Little Free Libraries now sponsors over 5,000 libraries worldwide. (Though they are strangely absent from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.) Before this installation, there was one registered New York location in Prospect Heights.

If you want to build or buy one for your community, the organization asks that you register the location on the Little Free Libraries website.



Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.