Yvonne Shortt, executive director of the nonprofit Rego Park Green Alliance Studio, was inspired by a Facebook posting of a pop-up library in Germany, realizing that the pop-up would intertwine literacy and community engagement.
With the closure of the Forest Hills Library expected to last for another few weeks, the pop-up library’s initial location will be at MacDonald Park sometime in mid-to-late June.
While the pop-up library will only be for a day, it’s the process that’s most important, Shortt said.
The group hopes to get local organizations, such as Friends of MacDonald Park, and residents involved, including a curatorial committee that will curate books based on the community’s choices.
Interested volunteers can reach Shortt at Yvonne@regoparkgreenalliance.org.
The pop-up library will also feature books from local authors, and possibly several informal author discussions throughout the day.
“We’re not looking to have thousands of books,” Shortt said. “We’re looking to have books that are curated for the community by the community.”
The pop-up library will also have a “swap” feature, where residents can give and get books.
The design and fabrication committee is planning on building a few bookshelves for children, where they can then gather around in little tents and enjoy a day of reading.
And RPGA Studio is planning on constructing seating for adults, as well as a barista area with coffee, tea and snacks.
“The park was built as a gateway on Queens Boulevard, and we want to look at the flow to design a system that allows people to engage according to their interest,” Shortt said.
Another RPGA Studio project, the Tiny House NYC Build, features women who are using numerous skills to build a tiny house. The eight-month process focused on skill-building and workshops will culminate on June 1, when the women start building the house.
With each project, Shortt said, it’s about “people meeting people and growing through bonding.”