Michael Bierut’s moving talk given at TEDNYC in March discussing the positive unintended consequences of his involvement with Robin Hood’s L!brary Initiative has reached over 1 million viewers. What started as a donation of his time and skills to create a logo for the initiative morphed into an extended and ongoing passion-project. Before the project, only three-quarters of the city’s 650 elementary schools had libraries, so Robin Hood and the New York City Department of Education teamed up to address the issue.

The L!brary Initiative’s mission was to create safe and encouraging library spaces within under-resourced New York schools that would encourage young students to learn through reading. Bierut, a partner at Pentagram Design, recounted that when he first became involved with this project, he was just making small steps forward not knowing that “way off in the distance was a librarian who was going to find the chain of consequences that he set in motion a source of inspiration.”

Robin Hood first reached out to Bierut for help with creating a logo. Before long, Bierut found himself enlisting a cross-section of highly skilled artists and designers who lent their talents and created unique and inspiring murals in each library.

Since the opening of the initiative’s first library in 2004, it has helped over 400,000 kids discover the joys of reading. Thanks, Michael, for your dedication to improving kids’ lives and thank you for sharing your Robin Hood story.

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