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How New York Pay Phones Became Guerrilla Libraries

An interview with the creator

The concept, sponsored by Locke’s imaginary Department of Urban Betterment, is that New Yorkers will pick up unfamiliar titles while running their errands and then, perhaps, replace them the next day with favorite books of their own. That’s in an ideal world. Of the twoguerrilla libraries that the artist has fashioned, one has been used properly while the other has had its entire collection repeatedly ganked by sticky-fingered pedestrians. Its shelves were also stolen.

But Locke has many more libraries planned. With plywood consoles that slip over payphones as neatly as aprons, these sidewalk objets are endlessly replicable. (No doubt they’ll feature in his 2012 Columbia course, “Hacking the Urban Experience.”) I caught up with Locke over the weekend to ask him about what was and wasn’t working with these literary outposts, as well as why he started the project in the first place.

More at The Atlantic

This is an incredible idea. I’m going to try and find one pronto.

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