10 Little Free Libraries Have Popped All Over Manhattan


Last Saturday, May 4, 10 Little Free Libraries popped up all over downtown Manhattan. Winners of a small architectural competition worked with the PEN World Voices Festival and the Architectural League of New York to design and construct the libraries that operate on an honor system. People may take, deposit or return books as they please.

This is nearly a year after New York's first Little Free Library went up last June in Brooklyn. Its creators believed it would foster community, encourage reading and improve literacy.

After hearing about the idea, PEN World Voices Director, Jakab Orsos, immediately wanted more of the libraries on the streets. According to The New York Times: Regionhe said the it was a "[rich and romantic idea]" and that the "connectedness — how people are actually harboring the beauty of reading and the book and the importance of the book,” restored his faith.

The libraries are stocked with donations by publishers and looked after by nearby community partners including the Cooper Union, Henry Street Settlement and LaMaMa. The partners will look after them until September, when the organizers will decide whether to keep them in place. Visitors and residents will have the privilege of using the Little Free Libraries until then.

Each one is worth visiting since they all look and feel unique.

Here are some photos and design plans of the little libs you can find in New York:

1. Under the Brooklyn Bridge

2. Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement, Lower East Side

3. Cooper Union, East Village

4. Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, near entrance to Manhattan Bridge

5. Fourth Arts Block, Extra Place, East Village

6. St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School, SoHo

7. Clemento Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, Lower East Side.

8. LaMama, East Village

9. University Settlement, Lower East Side

10. Hester Street Collaborative, Pier 42 on East River.

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