From The Floating Library:
Here in Minnesota we live in the land of 10,000 lakes. In all seasons locals flock to the water to recreate and socialize. Yet, long days at the beach or trips in a canoe rarely involve the book arts.
The 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.
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The materials featured at the Floating Library are books and other printed matter made by artists. What does that mean? It means you’ll find treasures ranging in form from photocopied zines to letterpress printed pamphlets to hand-stitched bindings to commercially printed volumes to objects that look more like sculptures than books. Some of them are made to last forever, some will fade and tear with time, some are designed for the unique environment of a lake-based library.
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Despite some logistical snags and a downpour, the first weekend of the Floating Library went off fairly well.
On the logistical side of things, I made a public art mistake of assuming that permission to tie up to the swimming area buoy granted to me last year by a teenaged summer employee of the parks system would stand this year. Not so. After being alternatively tied up to a weedy submerged dock for part of the afternoon, we finally moved into open waters for better visibility. Luckily the wind blew us in the right direction to find the Library’s overnight docking spot. On Sunday we brought an anchor.
On the rain side of things, we learned that the Library’s rain plan is top notch. We got soaking wet but all the books stayed safe and dry in their plastic tubs.
Due to the rain, the patronage of the Library was slow overall, but we did greet several unexpecting boaters and checked out a few books.
Link to the rest, with photos, at The Floating Library