The fine people at Field Work have invited Street Books to live in their front window (at: 1101 SW Jefferson Street), through mid-October. We like Field Work because it's a space that used to be vacant before students from PSU's Art & Social Practice program turned it into a space for socially engaged art and design projects. According to their website, it's a "home base for urban discovery & projects that explore interaction with the public." We here at Street Books value our interaction with the public. Conversations with our library patrons this summer were what made the project so rich and interesting for everyone involved, whether it was comparing notes about a work of literature, or listening to a story from the road. Last week when Sue and I moved the bike library to Field Work, I encountered several of our regular patrons. Tye-Dye said, "Man, where have you been? I waited for you on Saturday, but you never came." I told him we'd taken two weeks off in September to get organized, and he let me off the hook. He said he wanted to turn in the Vonnegut he'd checked out, and find something new. Chris flagged me down and said he was concerned because his graphic novel MacBeth was starting to get pretty banged up in his backpack. I suggested he turn it in on my next shift, if he wanted. These conversations and others that day reminded me of how glad I am that the project will live beyond the summer.
And part of sustaining our project has come in the form of the kickstarter campaign we launched 3 weeks ago. We have been amazed and grateful at how quickly people stepped up to pledge their support to our street library. Between now and October 12, when the campaign ends, we hope to hit our target ($4,000), and then some. Recently some friends suggested that we add a $50 donation level to our kickstarter page, saying that it's a "sweet spot." So we're going to go for it, and add the new level as we enter our third week in the campaign. If you have friends and family that you know have a weakness for the number 50, by all means tell them about our project, and direct them to the kickstarter page. And we thank you again for your support. Stay tuned for more posts, with details about our fall/winter operations.