Tiny free libraries have been popping up in neighborhoods around the world, and you can even buy a kit to create your own. However you design your little book collection, though, it probably won’t be half as cool as the artist-designed ‘book stations’ in Indianapolis, Indiana that make up the network of free books-on-loan known as the Public Collection.
Miniature libraries, or book stations, are a whole different kind of library. Book lovers can hang out and read at their leisure, or borrow a book to return to any of the stations in the collection. The Public Collection is as much an art exhibit as it is a literacy project, dressing up book stations as a means to attract would-be bookworms and art appreciators.
Rachel M. Simon leads the Public Collection with an aim to “improve literacy, foster a deeper appreciation of the arts, and raise awareness for education and social justice in our community.” Simon invited Indiana-based artists to design unique book stations at various places around town. The project, which was recently featured on Good, showcases a variety of differing artistic styles, representing the diverse art culture of Indianapolis. The books at the various artsy stations are supplied and stocked by the Indianapolis Public Library.
The newest addition to the Public Collection comes from Kimberly McNeelan and was just installed at White River State Park. Entitled Evolution of Reading, McNeelan’s book station is a cave-like sculpture that also somewhat resembles the canopy of a covered wagon. Providing some shelter from the elements is of utmost importance for the books housed within, but the Western Red Cedar structure invites visitors in out of the wind or rain, enticing people with the promise of a good read.
Images via The Public Collection