Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Lizard Tree Library


Last updated 10/12/2015 at 11:52am


H. De Vaux III

The Slab City Lizard Tree Library is a cobbled-together building housing wooden shelves of books and a small children's area on a floor of sand. There are paintings on the walls and ceilings between gaps that let in the sunlight and dust. A reading room with old overstuffed chairs under frayed shade cloth is situated between shelter and the elements.

The library was originally the idea of Peggy Sadlik, who repurposed an abandoned shack in 1998 with the idea of a book exchange. Peggy died in 2004 and her remains are buried near the library entrance. The library has since changed hands many times, going through numerous phases of deconstruction and revival. Cornelius Vango, a Slab City resident and artist is currently taking care of the place. She's put a lot of effort into rebuilding with found and donated materials and introducing spoken word jams and art-centered projects. Occasional bombs blasting from the nearby naval base can be heard but Vango says people get used to that. Like the rest of Slab City, there are basically no rules here. Lizard Tree is a functional anarchist library that's open 24 hours a day, every day. Vango only suggests members to write "Slab City Library" on the inside cover of any book borrowed to remember where it comes from. The recycling, minimalist lifestyle of Slab City is nowhere more attractive then at the Lizard Tree Library where freedom, information and art come together.

Library's seats

H. De Vaux III

If you'd like to visit it yourself, just follow the road to Salvation Mountain and you're in Slab City within minutes. The library is on a road at the far end of Slab City against the bombing range fence. Ask a local for directions if you get lost. Lizard Tree Library is always in need of cash donations or building materials. A wish list includes 2x4 beams, tin for roofing, shade cloth, nails, kerosene, toilet paper, coffee and water. More books can be enlisted after the shelving and roofing is adequate.

If you'd like to donate to a community library in more need than you're ever likely to find elsewhere, you can send donations to Cornelius Vango, P.O. Box 642, Niland, CA, 92257. If you'd like to send materials too large to send by mail, contact Jeannie at the Borrego Sun for delivery arrangements.

Library's EntranceBooksLibrary's seats


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