Perhaps, in all my talk of beach reading, I’m being northern hemisphere-centric. For all I know there are people out there reading this blog who are wishing, at this very moment, that they had someplace a little colder to do some browsing. In which case, I give you the Library Shanty, in Medicine Lake, Minneapolis.
In 2007, I visited the Art Shanty Projects. Not native to Minnesota, I was moved by a group of people assembling together to enjoy the frigid temperatures and share their joy and art with the public. I particularly enjoyed the shanties that mimicked communities and organizations similar to those found in a city, like the Postal Shanty. I wanted to create a space that functioned similarly. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a library on the ice where people can relax, get warm, and read a book?
Working with four collaborators, she put together a selection from their personal libraries and Half Price Books. They cataloged the collection using LibraryThing, so that patrons could see what they wanted before visiting—thumbing through books is all well and good, but maybe less so when there’s a chance of frostbite (although the space itself is heated). They’re open every weekend, with various programs for adults and children, and although all books stay on the ice—the library is reference-only—all reading transactions are lovingly recorded as part of the project. So far the most popular items have been Sex Pots: Eroticism in Ceramics (Herzak-Bauman is a ceramicist) and Sandra Boynton’s Hippos Go Berserk!
(via Book Patrol.)