"Floating Library," Pop-Up Cultural Venue, Coming to Tribeca's Pier 25

"Leading Lights," an installation by Katarina Jerinic that maps navigational stars, will be on display in the pilot room of the historic Lilac Museum Steamship at Tribeca's Pier 26. The installation is just one feature of a larger series of installations and events called "Floating Library," which will be on the ship from Sept. 6 to Oct. 3. Photo: Floating Library

Aug. 21, 2014

The Floating Library, a pop-up public cultural venue for a rich array of arts, talks, readings and more, will open aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship at Tribeca’s Pier 25 on Sept. 6.

Library organizers say they hope to expand the public reach of activities that usually only take place within cultural institutions. Started by artist Beatrice Glow, the library will remain open until Oct. 3 and invite more than 70 people at a time to participate in its events.

The main deck of the Lilac—America’s only surviving steam-powered lighthouse—will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge, with a selection of writings by underrepresented authors and an assortment of artist books, poetry and more. The deck will also feature a book collection, that, when the library closes in October, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need.

The library will also be home to a listening room filled with new works by six sound artists in response to literature. Art installations, including The Line by Amanda Thackray, a rope swing made out of Japanese paper with the text of “Moby Dick”’s 30th chapter written on them, and Katarina Jerinic’s "Leading Lights," an installation on the walls of the ship’s Pilot House that maps navigational stars, will be on display as well.

More than 20 roundtable discussions, performances and workshops focused on technology-oriented “maker culture,” sustainability issues and community engagement will also be held at the space. Sessions will include bookmaking with the Center for Book Arts and Small Editions, a modular furniture building workshop with Reid Bingham, a live recording session with HeritageRadioNetwork, and a Sensory Walk Workshop with the Movement Party.

The library will be open from Wednesday to Sunday. Hours will vary; check the schedule online at www.floatinglibrary.org for more information. Pier 25 is at the end of North Moore Street, at West Street.