At the Little Free Library nonprofit organization, we benefit from a dedicated and diverse national board of directors. The board serves as our governing body and helps uphold our mission to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all. In this series, we’ll introduce you to the amazing individuals who volunteer on our board.
Name: Margaret Bernstein
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Profession: Director of Advocacy & Community Initiatives, WKYC Studios
LFL board title: Secretary
Years on LFL board: 5
Why did you decide to join Little Free Library’s board of directors?
I was honored when co-founder Todd Bol invited me to join the board in 2015. I had seen firsthand the profound impact that Little Free Libraries were having. I knew they were building grassroots excitement for literacy in some of Cleveland’s poorest neighborhoods and I was excited to become a part of this movement.
What is your professional background?
I am a career journalist. I worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland for nearly 25 years and wrote several columns about Little Free Libraries after I spied my first one in 2012. Here’s one column that shows how readers offered to send money and donate books to support the effort.
How has your expertise helped Little Free Library achieve its mission?
I now work in TV, I’m the community relations director at the NBC affiliate in Cleveland, and I have woven Little Free Libraries into many of our station’s outreach campaigns. I’m proud to have established Cleveland as the home of the nation’s first “Little Free Library Neighborhoods,” including installing this awesome Marvel-themed little library in our city’s Hough neighborhood.
What is the Little Free Library project or initiative you’re most passionate about?
The one I’m working on right now! I’ve taken our “Little Free Library Neighborhood” concept and am concentrating all my resources on Charles Dickens School in Cleveland, where nearly every student is reading below grade level. I’ve got a volunteer team that keeps the school’s Little Free Library stocked and will tutor the children in reading.
What do you like to do when you’re not working with Team LFL?
I read a lot. I’m currently reading The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation, a Pulitzer-winning book from Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes, I’d love to share pictures from my 2021 summer vacation! As you might have guessed, Little Free Libraries were involved. See my video below: