Imagine a library stocked with books written by you, your family, your friends and neighbors. And each of those books handmade with recycled paper and book bindings. Well, The People’s Library project at the Richmond, Virginia Main Public Library is just that library.
The remarkable, ongoing project is the brainchild of student activists Mark Strandquist, Riley Duncan and Courtney Bowles, and is being created by a team of dedicated community participants.
The People’s Library is creating a thousand books for any member of the Richmond community to take home and fill with their memoirs, histories or stories. The process begins with paper that has been sourced from 5,000 discarded books. The recycled pages are pulped, blended and dried to fabricate new paper. The book bindings are fashioned from the discarded books as well.
Project participants are also designing and building unique bookshelves to house the community sourced literature. There’s even a custom built old school card catalog to manage the People’s Library books.