okay shelf shot

Book artists, zinesters, small press publishers, graphic designers, chapbook-penning poets, and printed matter-makers of all stripes are invited to submit materials for circulation at the Floating Library.


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 in Minnesota.

Proposals due: JUNE 30
Notification: JULY 6 (Due to considerations of space, not all entries may be accepted.)
Materials due: JULY 10 (Address for mailing materials will be sent via email.)

Floating Library 2015 dates on Silver Lake at Silverwood Park:
Saturday, July 18 & Sunday, July 19
Saturday, July 25 & Sunday, August 26
Moonlight paddle and poetry, Saturday, August 1 at 8:30 pm
Materials returned (what of them remain): SEPTEMBER 30

To submit a proposal, please use this handy form here.
Questions? Email: thefloatinglibrary@gmail.com

How does it work?
The Floating Library is a custom-designed raft with bookshelves that hold printed matter for perusal on the water. Folks in canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, skiffs, rowboats, or even inner tubes are invited to paddle up and browse from inside their watercraft. Protective covers on the shelves do their best to keep materials dry.

The Library is staffed by friendly floating librarians who facilitate the check out system and make reading suggestions.

The check-out and return system is honor-based, but it’s Minnesota (land of volunteerism and participatory civic engagement) so we hope for the best in this regard. Patrons return materials to the Floating Library or at book deposit boxes scattered around Silverwood Park.

What are we looking for?
Artists’ books and printed matter addressing any themes. Multiple copies are welcome but not necessary. Works designed especially for a lake-based library are encouraged (waterproof pages, designed to get wet, etc.)!

Because of space constraints on the Library’s raft, some submissions may not be accepted. Works that are truly inappropriate for a library on a public lake that serves everyone will not be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE that by submitting your materials for access on the Floating Library you acknowledge that any of these things may happen to your printed matter:

  • extensive water damage
  • stepped on at the bottom of a canoe
  • sand between the pages
  • borrowed and never returned
  • returned in mint condition after being enjoyed by many people

In other words, we don’t recommend sending the only copy of your most precious fine press book for inclusion in this project.

Questions? Email thefloatinglibrary@gmail.com


The Floating Library returns! July 2015

edge of FL 2014

We’re excited to announce that the Floating Library will enjoy some time in the sun this summer at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, MN.  We’re happy to be hosted by this beautiful, art-themed nature park and to share space with resources such as a poetry-walk, an island on which one can read books, an art gallery, a coffee shop, restored prairie, cheap canoe and kayak rentals, nearby bathrooms with real plumbing, and a motorized boat for towing! (Those who volunteered to paddle the Library last year will understand the significance of this support.) Thank you, Silverwood!

The Library open hours will be:
Saturday, July 18 & Sunday, July 19
Saturday, July 25 & Sunday, August 26
11 am – 5 pm

Moonlight paddle and poetry on Saturday, August 1 at 8 pm

Stay tuned for more details.