There are 13,659 payphones in New York City, nearly everyone over the age of 8 has a cellphone, and library cards are outdated. Artist John Locke has a solution… turn the obsolete phone booths into mini public libraries. No quarters and no library cards are necessary, just a passion to promote free sharing of books.

Here’s how it works: when you see one of Locke’s mini public libraries feel free to take a book. If you take a book, bring one back. In fact, bring any book back, perhaps a favorite title that others will enjoy?

The first one was set up around 96th Street in Manhattan Valley. All of the books were gone in 6 hours. In his second attempt, Locke put a logo on the bottom of each book to encourage people to bring them back.

Hopefully, Locke’s idea will prove successful and spread across the country. All it takes is some old phone booths, some great literature, and love for one another. Visit his blog for more information and other projects for urban betterment.

Sydney Lindberg