Guerrilla Libraries

New York City is brimming with artists and their art, from the traditional to the avant-garde. Some artists aim to shock, some to educate, and some to better their fellow citizens through education and reuse. John Locke, Columbia Architecture grad, is revitalizing the city’s all-but-abandoned phone booths guerrilla-style with pop-up libraries.

These small phone booth inserts are put together on site, akin to many IKEA flat-packs, which require minimal manpower and materials. The books available are constantly rotating, and uses are encouraged to leave books at will, providing a rotating selection that could potentially be as varied as those passing by.

Locke’s overarching program, which he calls the Department of Urban Betterment, showcases many other possible city improvement ideas. As for the City of New York and the how the ‘powers that be’ feel about his guerrilla libraries, take what you will from his recent interview with The Atlantic when they asked:

“(Locke declined to comment, so you can probably take that as a big “No, the city has not approved this project.”)”

The full Atlantic article on Locke and his libraries (by John Metcalfe) can be found here, complete with photos that were published with the cooperation of the artist.

SEE ALSO: This amazing pop-up library upstate, coined the Little Free Library in Syracuse!


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