My article on “little libraries” (aka DIY/guerilla/ad-hoc/micro libraries) is now available on Places. “Marginalia: Little Libraries in the Urban Margins” examines DIY libraries as sites of tactical urbanism, DIY place-making, information-sharing, guerilla librarianship, and, in some cases, art practice. I talk about (or link to) the OWS People’s Library; Proteus Gowanus’s library-themed work; Cabinet magazine’s filing cabinet library; the AAAARG library; the Bidoun reading rooms, the Ooga Booga Library at the Swiss Institute; Dexter Sinister’s Serving Library; the Reanimation Library; the Corner Libraries; the Little Library Project; the Hundred Story House in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; British Columbia’s Neighborhood Bookshelf; the Brooklyn Art Library; San Francisco-based Ourshelves; the Biblioburro in Colombia; the Weapon of Mass Instruction in Argentina; the Village Learning Place in Baltimore; San Jose’s Seven Trees volunteer-run library; open-air libraries in Magdeburg (Germany) and Gulbarga (India); phone booth libraries in Somerset (UK), Clinton (NY), and sprinkled throughout New York City; the Brooklyn BRANCH library; Chicago’s Read/Write Library; the Brooklyn Underground Library; BookCrossing and the International Public Space Library; the Chinatown (Boston) Storefront Library; and the Uni Project. I’m sure there are others I’m missing.
This was an incredibly fun article to write. It enabled me to tour dozens of inspiring spaces, speak with lots of passionate librarians and designers and civic officials, and work with Nancy Levinson, a fantastically talented editor who showed me how writing can (and should perhaps more often be) a pleasant and productive collaborative process. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the effort!