Mayor’s Office Debuts Portable Reading Rooms by Uni Project

The proposal was a winner in the city's inaugural Public Space Invitational.

Earlier this summer, the Mayor’s Office selected its winners for the inaugural Public Space Invitational, an open call for innovative ideas for improving Boston’s public spaces, led by the Office of New Urban Mechanics.

One of the winners selected was the Portable Reading Room, a proposal submitted by the Uni Project created by Leslie and Sam Davol. The Portable Reading Room is exactly what it sounds like—the foldable bookcase on wheels can be easily rolled just about anywhere, bringing with it books for anyone with the time to stop and read. And true to its promise to start implementing PSI winners this summer, the city recently debuted the Portable Reading Room at the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

In the video above, Mayor Marty Walsh chats with Leslie Davol about the project in a new installment of “Maker Chats,” a series of short videos in which the mayor talks with the bright minds behind local startups and nonprofits. Walsh leaves his own book recommendation on the library for The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, filling in the sentence “Dear Boston, I recommend this book because…”

The Giving Tree, because it is a book for all ages that tells a story about life!

Walsh also donated Rosie Revere the Engineer by Andrea Beaty, which won the “Best Read Aloud Book Award” from ReadBoston.

The idea for the Portable Reading Room is “so simple, but so clear” explains Davol of the Portable Reading Room’s impact on the community. The project has already seen great success in neighborhoods throughout New York, with more kits being shipped around the world. Boston’s Uni library joins two other mobile-library projects—ReadBoston’s Storymobile and the BPL’s new Bibliocycle—to provide public access to good reads in public spaces across Boston.

Related: Solar Benches to Be Installed in City Parks