little free libraries

A CASE STUDY IN URBAN ACUPUNCTURE: an assemblage of Little Free Library, Pear Tree and Mosaic Bench


In partnership with Bridge Builders and AU Civic Learning Initiatives, MOBILE STUDIO built this first little free library at Tuskegee Youth Safe Haven in Macon County. A beacon of light at night, this neighborhood free space is a test of the design approach coined urban acupuncture to describe the most essential and resourceful design move with the greates rippling and healing properties. Here a micro-ecology of  information, nourishment and respite are provided to stimulate civic health in this public housing community.

INSTALLATION DAY: with companion mosaic bench and pair tree

plant w d tree planted installation 2



painting night


Little free libraries are an effort to establish small repositories where individuals can borrow books in their community.  There are thousands that have been sprouting up across the cities, the country, and, increasingly, the world, from Brazil to Lithuania to Pakistan.
When the plan was first hatched libraries were planted in Madison, Wisconsin, with a goal of multiplying the project 2,509 times in order to break great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie’s record of public libraries..  More can be learned about this project at


bridge builders workshop2 bridge builders workshop1 bridge builders workshop 3

Macon County high school juniors and seniors, many of whom are fulfilling requirements for Bridge Builders Alabama, meet every other Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 81 between Notasulga and Tuskegee.  Auburn University undergraduates work alongside them, as they develop skills related to life, work, and college.  The program is funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Mobile Studio partnered with Kevin Moore, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at Auburn University to design and build Little Free Libraries in Macon County. These images are from workshop night # 1 in which designs were explored. The group agreed on three unique libraries by the end of the evening: The Luminary, The Ladybug and the Glass House. Designed collectively, these three patterns will be milled on a CNC Router, constructed by the group and installed along with mosaic benches and fruit trees this spring. Stay tuned!


We are excited to build some of these here in Alabama, starting in Tuskegee!


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