Earlier this month, the Star Tribune reported that a Minnesota artist created an 8x8 floating library in Minneapolis’ Cedar Lake, lending books to readers on canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. Beginning September 6, New Yorkers will get a chance to visit a floating library of their own, moored on the Hudson River.
The brainchild of artist Beatrice Glow, the Floating Library brings together over 70 participants to create a pop-up public space housed on the Lilac Museum Steamship. Built in 1933, the vessel is the city’s only historic steamship, under restoration by the Lilac Preservation Project to provide space for community activities.
The Floating Library is a pop up, mobile device-free public space aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City. It will be open September 6- October 3.
Glow called the responses to the idea of a floating library as “extremely positive,” and, through donations, as well as submissions from artists, she has amassed a library of approximately 400 titles. “I think New Yorkers are craving off-the-grid time and space, and are eager for meaningful face-to-face dialogue,” said Glow.
Donors to the project include Ugly Duckling Presse, Sternberg Press, Queens Museum of Art, Center for Book Arts, Poets House, Nightboat Books, Interference Archive, Franklin Furnace Fund, Nauset Press, Folio Literary, The Operating System, and Arts and Democracy. Books in the library must stay on board, but Glow is also encouraging visitors to BYOB (Bring Your Own Book).
The library will feature ongoing art installations, including a Listening Room that will offer “new works by six sound artists in response to literature,” and a reading lounge on the main deck. At the end of the lifecycle of the project, the books will be donated to a local high school with “demonstrated need,” according to Glow.
The library will also host programming, with 20 scheduled roundtables, performances and workshops that will “shine a spotlight on maker culture, DIY politics, sustainability issues, sensory attunement, and community engagement,” said Glow.
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