I love all the quiet rooms inside a library’s walls, but what if you were to take the walls away? Artist Massimo Bartolini did just that at the St. Peter’s Abbey library in Ghent, where locals can wander through 12 rows of books outside in the library’s urban vineyard. You can borrow a book to read outside, or you can leave a donation on the shelf and take the book home to keep. I couldn’t imagine a cooler way to while away an autumn afternoon, especially if there was a hot cocoa stand nearby!
If you’re nowhere near Ghent, there still might be a bookyard you can visit nearby. In Detroit, students have been building libraries outdoors in honor of the branches the Detroit Public Library has had to close. In Oakland, volunteers have come together to build the Victor Martinez People’s Library in an abandoned lot. And in upstate New York, Girl Scouts have helped build an outside extension of the Otswego Library.
I wonder if they have a plan to protect the books when it rains?