The Floating Library

ukeleles-on-the-lakeThe Floating Library is an experimental public art project that introduces the creative genre of artists’ books and printed matter to people recreating on an urban lake.

A custom made raft designed by architect Molly Reichert features bookshelves built to hold printed matter for perusal and check out on the water. Patrons in canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, rowboats, or even inner tubes are invited to paddle up to the Library and browse the shelves from inside their watercraft. Protective covers on the shelves do their best to keep materials dry.

The library has both circulating and reference collections of artists’ books contributed by artists nationwide. A staff of friendly floating librarians facilitate the check out process and make reading suggestions.

Dispensing paper goods on a lake may seem like a juxtaposition of two things that don’t go well together (books + water). This project draws on the common past time of beach reading and the inventive thinking of artists working with the form of the book to provide context-appropriate and uncommon reading material to people who are already gathered on the water.

The Floating Library is a project by Sarah Peters, an artist, writer and art administrator who is interested in public engagement with the arts and critical issues of our time. On the streets she organizes public art projects such as the annual Northern Spark festival; in the studio she makes books; on the water she rows a handmade boat and dreams of turning the lakes of Minneapolis into a creative commons.

The project’s graphic design is by Timothée Génot.

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the Project | the Floating Library.