The Floating Library reaches readers in the middle of the lake

The Floating Library - picture 1

The Floating Library is a project that lets check out books to people recreating on an urban lake.

No matter how unbelievable it sounds, if you happen to be in Minneapolis, US, you’ll have a chance to experience an unforgettable visit to the library, and talk to the librarian, in the middle of Silver Lake.

The Floating Library is a fascinating public art project run by Sarah Peters, an artist, writer, educator – and now the brave floating librarian.

It’s a small boat. And it’s a fully-fledged library.

You can find here books contributed by artists nationwide, ranging from letterpress printed pamphlets to hand-stitched bindings to “objects that look more like sculptures than books”.

When thinking about a library, people usually imagine a building. The Floating Library “building” is a custom-made wooden raft designed by architect Molly Reichert. It measures 8 by 8 feet, and features bookshelves on two sides to let you check out books without leaving a canoe or kayak.

The Floating Library logoThe Floating Library 2015

This season The Floating Library will be available at Silverwood Park, Minnesota.

  • July 18-19, Silver Lake
  • July 25-26, Silver Lake
  • August 1, Silver Lake (moonlight paddle and poetry, starting at 8:30 pm)

Books and water usually don’t go well together. That’s why there are protective covers on the shelves to keep the printed matter dry. Plus, some books are given extra protection, so there is no worry – water won’t get inside the book before the reader does.

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.

You’ll be able to reach The Floating Library on August and September weekends. Opening hours? Yes, sure!

This is a very special library. You’ll need to put some effort to reach it. Not like the libraries you can visit on Google Street View. The Floating Library can be accessed by canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, or other small watercrafts. Swimming is also “possible but not recommended.”

The Floating Library is a fascinating example of creativity, dedication, and passion. A little, and somehow alone, when you observe it from the shore, it becomes a great adventure and ignites the love for books, the moment you start thinking about it.

The pictures were made by Sarah Peters. A full set is available on The Floating Library profile on Flickr.

The Floating Library

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