Engaging new audiences and attracting people to libraries in 2015 can be tough, but some libraries are up to the challenge. As a way to simultaneously improve literacy and foster an appreciation for local artists, the Indianapolis Public Library and artist Rachel M. Simon conceived the Public Collection, an endeavor to create nine artist-desiged miniature libraries filled with free books.
While the idea of free sharing libraries in urban locations isn’t new (we’ve mentioned several different projects here on Colossal over the years), this project seems particularly ambitious and original by highlighting the sculptural works of Indiana artists and by providing a diverse selection of reading material free to the public.
Perhaps the most ambitious design was built by artist Brian McCutcheon. Titled ‘Monument,’ the five pillar library supports a physical construction of the famous Mark Twain quote: “A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.” The base of each pillar contains a circular shelf where passersby can take and leave books as they wish.
Our personal favorite though is ‘Nautilus,’ a spiral-shaped shelf and reading bench built from reclaimed wood by Katie Hudnall. She says “the body of this piece is loosely derived from the image of a boat on water and is designed to remind the viewer that books (and education in general) can be a form of transportation.”