The PEOPLE’S LIBRARY is a temporary book exchange and open source library for free exchange and use by all and anyone, and a partial re-enactment of the library that occurred during the occupation of Zuccotti Park in New York City from September to November 2011.Come by; bring books; take books; and talk to people.

The Occupy Wall Street Library constituted an important self-forming institution within the Occupy movement, with more than 5000 books donated by individuals and circulated freely. A voluntee…r librarian staff organized accessibility, turning the collection into a living institution which was recognized in its short existence by being nominated for the Best Small Library in America Award.

The evolution and willful destruction of this library on November 16, 2011 poses a number of points of reference that remain relevant in an ongoing contestation of political and cultural dialog and mediation, such as the manifest and recognized physical location for the exchange of ideas outside established institutional space, a crowd sourced canon of relevant literature, the book as a recast icon of free speech, as became evident in how the destruction of the library was perceived by a wide audience reaching beyond OWS activists.

THE PEOPLE’S LIBRARY AT THE PUBLIC MUSEUM invites to recapture the spirit and energy, and to engage the general public in a free exchange of books and ideas. There will be free coffee to help the conversation.

Also featured: The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, compiled by Steven Boyer during the occupation of Zuccotti Park. There will be poetry hour at the PEOPLE’S LIBRARY daily from 6-7pm

Recite your own, share someone’s, or explore the anthology.


Matthias Neumann was trained in architecture in Germany, Italy and Canada and relocated to New York City in 2000 after graduating from the University of Dresden, Germany. In 2004 he established his own practice, normaldesign, following his successful entry to the internationally open World Trade Center Memorial competition in New York, in which my proposition was chosen as one of eight finalist entries. His work has since been situated in the interstice between architecture, art and research, with recognized work in all three fields of engagement. Over the past years a number of works were concerned with the social processes which underlie creative projects in art and architecture. This interest is focused in particular on correlations between social and resource ecologies as they pertain to the built environment. This interest has been part of an ongoing artistic, academic and curatorial trajectory.