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 a collection of artist-made books and printed matter aboard a raft, on a lake, accessible by boat.
A custom made raft features bookshelves built to hold printed matter for perusal on the water. Patrons in canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, rowboats, or other small watercraft are invited to paddle up to the Library and browse the shelves.
The library has both circulating and reference collections contributed by artists nationwide and internationally. A staff of friendly Floating Librarians facilitate the check out process and make reading suggestions.
Dispensing paper goods on a lake may seem like a juxtaposition of two things that don’t go well together (books + water). This project draws on the common past time of beach reading and the inventive thinking of artists working with the form of the book to provide context-appropriate and uncommon reading material to people who are already gathered on the water.
This experimental, interactive public art is a project by Sarah Peters.
Sarah is an artist, writer and art administrator who is interested in public engagement with the arts and critical issues of our time. On the streets she organizes public art events such as the annual Northern Spark festival; in the studio she makes books; on the water she rows a handmade boat and dreams of turning the lakes of Minneapolis into a creative commons.
The project’s graphic design is by Timothée Génot.
The summer 2016 presentation of the Floating Library is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund, generous individual donors, and a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.