Floating Library Makes Its Way Down L.A. Lake

The idea of “The Floating Library” is not a new one. Rafts transporting books have been making their way across lakes in Minnesota (where the project started), as well as on land in Philadelphia. Now, “The Floating Library” will offer artist books to pedal-boaters on the beautiful and historic Echo Park Lake in sunny Los Angeles, California. Sarah Peters, an artist from Minneapolis, thought up “The Floating Library” as a creative way to introduce a wide collection of books from artists around the world in an engaging public environment. According to the project’s website, the library “is an experimental public art project by Sarah Peters that explores the underused amenity of the urban lake as a civic and creative place.” 

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For residents and visitors to Los Angeles, a city known for busy highways and stressful smog, a tranquil excursion on a lake with a number of books to choose from is a wonderful idea. The project is working in collaboration with Machine Project, a “non-profit arts and educational organization” based in Echo Park, and the LA Art Book Fair. For those who dread the feasible outcome of books mixing with water, fear not! The project worked with architect Molly Reichert to create a raft with bookshelves that are able to float on water (while books have gone overboard, they are placed in plastic tubs and have protective covers for extra precaution).  

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Peters has been thrilled with the outcome of her project, uniting nature-lovers on boats with unfamiliar books made by artists. “What’s been interesting about the library on Minnesota waters it hat it is a place you’re meeting people you don’t know for the most part,” Peters said according to LAWeekly. It is an opportunity for people to engage in an uncommon space; “You’re not at a bar, you’re not at a concert, you’re not wherever it is that strangers talk to each other.” This sounds like a perfect place for a book lover!

Would you like to see “The Floating Library” in a body of water near you?

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