Pop-up library comes to Ballston Quarter’s empty retail space


The pop-up also includes a customizable reading nook called Alterspace

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — As renovations wrap up at Ballston Quarter, the Arlington Public Library is temporarily filling empty retail space for a pop-up library.

The pop-up library, in partnership with the Ballston Bid and the Ballston Quarter, will be open weekdays until the beginning of August. 

Along with a selection of books and library resources, like registering for a library card, the pop-up also includes a customizable reading nook called Alterspace.

Alterspace is a Harvard-born project that has made its way out of Massachusetts for the first time to Arlington. The nook allows people to change colors and sounds for reading or meditating. 

Program and Partnership Librarian Michelle Fernandez says this is all part of the library’s goal to increase its outreach to vulnerable communities, especially those who may be new to the area. 

“This pop-up library is only a few blocks away from our Central Library, yet there are so many people walking through this mall that have no idea we’re here. That have no idea that this is available for them. That have no idea that we’re more than just books,” said Fernandez.

This isn’t the library’s first pop-up; it follows two successful ones in Rosslyn and Crystal City. Fernandez says while she can’t make any promises, she doesn’t expect this to be the library’s last.

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