At the Booth, at the Guerrilla Library

Posted on April 15, 2012


Do you remember Colin Farrell in 2002s “Phone Booth” as he frantically struggles at a Braodway payphone? That was a while ago. In fact even Bollywood came out with its own rendition of the same film. In any event, I always remembered the phone booth as Clark Kent‘s closet – I always found the concept retarded and unoriginal, it got old so quckly for me.

Im a hiphop artist with a Masters in literature. Despite this, I dont read. I write. Ironically, Im also working my second Masters in Information School’s librarianship stream. Truth is, Im a hardcore advocate for literacy and education. Without villians there would be no need of heroes. Without writers there’s be no need for readers. Writers depend on readers, if readers dont read or buy, well there would be no literary taxonomy as far as I am concerned.

John Locke has always advocated that individuals should read more. Consequently, he opted to roam around Manhattan with some customized shelves with the intent of transforming old school into pop-up libraries.

The concept, sponsored by Locke’s imaginary Department of Urban Betterment, is poised on prompting New Yorkers to pick up unfamiliar titles while running their quotidien errands and then, perhaps, replace them the next day with favorite books of their own. Of the 2 guerrilla libraries, one has been used properly while the other has had its entire collection repeatedly ganked by sticky-fingered pedestrians. Its shelves were also stolen.

but…do you REALLY think cats are going to return or swap books? Mickey Boston say yes, but there are others out there who would just take the stuff and not return it.

But Locke is an idealist. He has more phone booth libraries planned. With plywood consoles that slip over payphones as neatly as aprons, his sidewalk objets are endlessly replicable and, of course, there is no denying that the concept will feature in his 2012 Columbia course, “Hacking the Urban Experience.”

Is Locke a naive idiot?

In one regard, I would frankly say yes. On the other hand, I beleive him to be optimistic and humanitarian. I trully am compelled to say the man is innovative and positive and desires to bring sustainable living to the urban space. Some may assert the man is an idiot, after all, we live in a world of theft and counter-theft. The human animal is inclined to vandalism despite being o constructive over the past millennium. One may question, how does Locke see his exploit vis-a-vis such givens, would it not be best to pilot the project in a smaller, suburb where everyone knows everyone?

“John Locke should’ve launched this in a suburb first. With all that edumacation the Columbia architect and prof should be wiser” – Mickey Boston