About the Library


Pay Your Fines Online
Federal Depository Library Info

You are here

“You Are the Library” Outdoor Installation @ Central Library

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Inside Out Wall Mural @ downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

“You Are the Library” Outdoor Installation @ Central Library
Hundreds of portraits line the outside walls of downtown Library


For Immediate Release: June 5, 2018

Libraries are not just places to find books, music, movies, technology classes, children’s programming and more, but rather, they are part of the communities they serve. They are the people themselves, blue collar, white collar, immigrants and indigenous, of all genders and colors. You are the library and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

More than 130 large-scale black and white portraits of library patrons now grace the outside walls of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s downtown Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, as part of a new public art project.  “You Are the Library” was inspired by French photographer JR, who created the international “Inside Out Project,” which encourages communities to create large-scale portrait murals.  The local photo project was suggested and subsequently curated by the Library’s Launch Pad MakerSpace staff Librarian Jordan Smith and employee Sarah Barry, who started taking photos of patrons two years ago.

Fully created and produced by Library staff, the striking photographs are installed on the granite walls surrounding the Library, facing north along Broadway and south along Clinton Street. The images are temporary. 

“The portraits of faces featured in “You Are the Library” fully depict the incredible diversity and wonderful personalities of the people we serve every day,” noted Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski. “Feedback has been positive, and this is a great lead-in to our new outdoor Reading Park, which will be launched this summer.”

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library was one of three national recipients of the Southwest Airlines “Heart of the Community” place-making grants announced last year. Outdoor seating, new landscaping and decking are anticipated, as are a wide variety of outdoor performances, programs and interactive free public activities based around reading and the arts.

For more information about “You Are the Library” visit the “Inside Out Project” at: http://www.insideoutproject.net/en/group-actions/united-states-buffalo-ny, the Library website at www.BuffaloLib.org or call 716-858-8900.     

More Info: Joy Testa Cinquino, testaj@buffalolib.org. 716-858-7182.