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A Mini-Library Grace Brooklyn’s Street Corners

A Mini-Library Grace Brooklyn’s Street Corners
culture

A library operating on the honor system has moved from New Haven to Brooklyn to generate the exchange of local knowledge.

Liz Walsh
  • 26 october 2011

In the spirit of embracing local community dialogue and sharing, the Kindness and Imagination Development Society (K.I.D.S) founder and artist, Colin McMullen, has moved his creative project from New Haven, Connecticut, to Williamsburg, Brooklyn — specifically at the intersection of Leonard and Withers. At the corner is a little house with a bright and welcoming orange door that says,

Welcome! This library is meant to encourage us all to publish and share information about local resources, issues, events, the many personal matters we care about deeply.

Its contents are also available online, via the library’s Tumblr site. While this microlibrary in Brooklyn is roughly the size of a doghouse, elsewhere there are libraries that are the size of birdhouses or mailboxes.

Operating under an honor system, the library features a unique collection of books, DVDs, CDs, maps, and other odds and ends that borrowers can take out at any time. The purpose of corner libraries like these is not only to allow for borrowing outside of standard library hours, but also to encourage communication in the local community. Anyone can donate, anyone can borrow, and anyone can be a librarian.

While these smaller treasures of literature, art, and culture certainly won’t replace larger libraries, they offer something different: while your public library presents a free alternative to Amazon.com, its catalog is probably the same size. Microlibraries are unique, as they offer surprises, an opportunity to see what your neighbor has been reading. McMullen hopes to generate a more personal approach to reading, and perhaps too, these corner libraries will encourage community conversation about their contents.

Kindness and Imagination Development Society

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