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Charter #5699: 32 Prince Street (at Mott Street)

Charter #5699: 32 Prince Street (at Mott Street)

If you recall, we covered the Little Free Library located at 32 Prince Street (pictured above). We recently went to check out the nine other Little Free Libraries that have popped up around Manhattan.

These libraries run on the good will of the people. Started in Wisconsin in 2009, they currently have over 5,000 locations in the country and worldwide. This project was brought to NYC through the PEN World Voices Festival and the Architectural League of New York. They come to the city as part of many exhibits in the IDEAS City Festival, and will be open until September 1, 2013 when they will each be evaluated for their longevity. As you can see in the photos below, many of the locations unfortunately suffer from barren bookshelves.

little free library-nolita-nyc-prince and mott-ideas city-02

Inside the Prince Street library

Charter #5697: Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street

Charter #5697: Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street

Charter #5703: NYU, West 4th and Mercer St.

Charter #5703: NYU, West 4th and Mercer St.

Charter #5703: NYU, West 4th and Mercer St.

Charter #5703: NYU, West 4th and Mercer St.

Charter #5698: La Mama, 4th Street (b/t Third and Second Ave)

Charter #5698: La Mama, 4th Street (b/t Third and Second Ave)

Charter #5698: La Mama, 4th Street (b/t Third and Second Ave)

Charter #5698: La Mama, 4th Street (b/t Third and Second Ave)

Charter #5702: Extra Place (b/t Bowery and 2nd Ave)

Charter #5702: Extra Place (b/t Bowery and 2nd Ave)

Charter #5702: Extra Place (b/t Bowery and 2nd Ave)

Charter #5702: Extra Place (b/t Bowery and 2nd Ave)

Charter #5705: University Settlement, Corner of Rivington and Eldridge Streets

Charter #5705: University Settlement, Corner of Rivington and Eldridge Streets

Charter #5696: Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street

Charter #5696: Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street

If you stumble upon a library in your neighborhood, Little Free Library urges you to take a picture and help promote them. They will also help you set up your own “branch” of the Little Free Library, by sending you a complete startup kit with steps on how to help this small oasis for books thrive in your community.

No lines, no cards; visitors are free to peruse the collection of available books, as well as leave their own reads, on the community shelf with two rules: “Take a book, Return a book.” (Coincidentally, you can find a copy of my chapbook at all the above locations.) It would seem that the project works best in a setting like the ones at Prince Street, NYU, and Extra Place. A small public area with available seating. Local Wi-Fi would be a major draw as well!

The Architectural League has put together a video interviewing some of those responsible for bringing about Little Free Library/NYC, including some of the talented designers and urban developers responsible for building each individual library bookshelf.

list of all little free library locations (via)

list of all little free library locations (via The Architectural League)

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