Trend Watch: User-Powered Micro-Libraries


Is this the cutest little library you’ve ever seen or what? Residents of north Brooklyn will likely recognize the tiny structure from the corner of Leonard and Withers; known as the Corner Library, it’s part of a project dreamed up by artist Colin McMullan of the Kindness and Imagination Development Society (KIDS) back in 2007, when he installed his first “micro-library” in downtown New Haven. Permanent branches are already being planned for multiple locations around New York City, including Chelsea, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights, with KIDS’ ultimate goal to take the idea worldwide.

The rules of the Corner Libraries are simple: lending is done on the honor system, and each location has a volunteer “librarian” who oversees the collection — a mixture of donated books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, zines, and pamphlets. Interested patrons contact the location’s librarian to get a library card and the code to for door’s lock.

“These libraries are meant to encourage local exchange and to help neighbors meet, know, and help one another in physical space with issues and interests that matter to them daily, right here and now,” McMullan recently told Poets and Writers. “The Internet is an incredible information tool, but it doesn’t satisfy a need we have for real-space interchange among people.” What do you think of the idea? Is it something that you can imagine taking off in your own neighborhood? [via Nylon]