A Uni for the DC Public Library

Uni DCLeslie and I are excited for the DC Public Library. They have ambitious plans across the city, including transformation of their Mies-designed MLK branch into a vibrant hub of community and downtown culture. And, as of last Friday, they also have a Uni portable reading room.

DCPL’s Executive Director Rich Reyes-Gavilan has been a friend and partner for some years. When he heard about our new design direction (a kit that unfolds from a rock stage case), he asked to be first in line. This winter, we’ve been working hard to create something to make the city of DC proud. Photos below tell part of the story.

Thank you to HY Architecture and Bill Bancroft Furniture for taking our cart from idea to reality. Thank you to the terrific staff at DCPL letting us play a role in your adventures on the streets of DC. We salute your library, and we’ll be there during the journey ahead. Respect!

Uni DC

Uni benches are laser cut in Corning NY and assembled (by me) in NYC. DC Library blue.

Uni DC

Bench assembly happens in a corner of our work space, normally reserved for practicing cello.

Uni DC

Uni DC

Uni DC

The Uni portable reading room is made by hand in the USA.

Uni DC

Uni DC

Ready for the truck.

Uni DC

Meanwhile, in Essex MA, Bill Bancroft is building the cart.

Uni DC

Magnets hold the cart in “partially open” positions, revealing books and learning activities inside.

Uni DC

Uni DC

Uni DC

Bill and I are from New England. Snow is merely an excuse to use bigger equipment to keep working.

 Uni DC

The cart is designed to roll through a commercial doorway and up a standard truck ramp. Forklift works too.

Uni DC

When I arrived to the loading dock at DCPL MLK branch, Rich insisted we take it right upstairs to the Great Hall. Librarianship includes showmanship.

Uni DC

Uni DC

Me, Rich, Nick, Meaghan, Jeff of DCPL with their new Uni cart. (Meaghan was an original donor to the Uni Project on Kickstarter in 2011. Now she will help oversee the DCPL Uni. Karma.)

Uni DC

I get a little emotional when I drop off a Uni, like a father dropping off a child at college. Meaghan was kind enough to linger with me and take a last photo for me. Onward.

 

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The Uni Project is the operating name (DBA) of Street Lab, a 501c3 nonprofit.