Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Pay Phone Lending Library

A designer in New York City is designing them.

From a piece in the New York Times...

So far he has carried out four installations, most recently at Amsterdam Avenue and West 87th Street just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday last month. 

As several sleepy-eyed patrons of a 24-hour deli looked on in confusion, Mr. Locke snapped a lime green bookcase into place, stocking it with children’s books and paperback novels. 

Hooks on the unit allow Mr. Locke to install it without hardware, and the entire process took less than five minutes. 

He had barely rounded the corner before a man who had been standing outside the deli began browsing through titles, choosing “The Shining” by Stephen King, tucking it under his arm and heading home. 

What happens to the installations after the first few minutes is a bit of a mystery to Mr. Locke. He checks on them periodically, he said, until they disappear — after a few days or a few weeks. Which is fine with him. 

“It’s a spontaneous thing that just erupts at certain locations,” he said. “People like it, people are inspired by it, but then it disappears again.” 

The libraries have endured long enough to attract their share of fans. Publishing houses, bookstores and neighbors have approached Mr. Locke to donate books for future installations.

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