A not-for-profit is bringing the library right into local parks and playgrounds. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
The Uni Project, a not-for-profit, is bringing learning opportunities for people of all ages to public spaces.
"What happens is pretty magical and sometimes moving," said Leslie Davol, the co-founder of the not-for-profit. "You know, people sit down, they open a book they read, they draw, but the difference is they're doing it in public."
Davol and her husband Sam say they were inspired to start the project after raising their own children in New York City.
"This is really the product of that: saying, 'What do we want to see in our neighborhood?' and that's what we're always thinking when we bring it out — 'What would other people like to see in their neighborhood?'" Sam Davol said.
The setup at Sean's Place Playground in Astoria on Friday included a mobile library and drawing station. The kids said it was a pleasant surprise.
"I think it's amazing because it gets the kids creative and you can do what you want," said Areanie Palacios, who lives in Astoria.
"I think of it like a little school," said Astoria resident Jessica Araujo.
While the Uni Project pops up all across the city throughout the year, volunteers said it's especially important to provide the service during the summer months while the kids are out of school.
"The kids come to the park and they see this unfamiliar thing that's going on there. And they want to explore it and then they're able to read, they're able to draw," said Anthony Lopez, a volunteer with the Uni Project. "They're able to explore what they want to do during the summertime, while they're not getting an education in school."
The Uni Project also provides job opportunities for young people in college.
Egypt Calier says she gets as much back as she gives to the program.
"That's just a rewarding feeling at the end of the day when I'm leaving, to see that these kids don't want you to leave, they want you to stay," Calier, a site manager, said. "So you're giving the kids people to look forward to seeing every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Every day you come to their park."
To see when the Uni project has an event at a park near you, head to www.theuniproject.org