Ribbon cutting! Photo courtesy of Bob Shipley.

You love Little Free Libraries and you want to see them pop up in your community…but you’re not sure where to start. You could find someone to build one for you or buy one through littlefreelibrary.org, but you want to have a bigger impact than that. You want to see a handful or a couple dozen Libraries around town. How can you do that?

Take your cue from the Mountain Mahogany Community School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These clever teachers realized that building and decorating Little Free Libraries would be a great community service project and learning opportunity for their 70 middle-school students.

How did this project go from dream to reality? They reached out to the community and identified a parent and local carpenter, Mike Tullai, who designed a Library prototype, gathered materials and provided on-site guidance. Hot Tip: there are building plans and advice available on the Builders page, too.

They also recruited parent volunteers to be present during the 3-day project. At the end, 7 Albuquerque residents paid $99 to purchase a Library while the remaining 3 Libraries remained at the school to be stewarded by the 1st, 3rd and middle school students and their teachers. Talk about a win-win!

Finishing touches. Photo courtesy of Bob Shipley.

Finishing touches. Photo courtesy of Bob Shipley.

A school-wide ceremony was held on Sept. 10th, 2014 to dedicate the 10 Libraries. Honored guest Bob Shipley, board member and adult literacy tutor for Reading Works and a Little Free Library proponent, addressed the student body and commended them on an inspiring project.

The school will be registering each of their 3 Libraries on the World Map and is encouraging the other 7 Library stewards to do the same.

What are you waiting for? You can do the same with your local elementary or middle school! For a more in-depth guide to running a large-scale project, check out the Organize page. Check back soon for more inspiring project examples.

Almost ready. Photo courtesy of Bob Shipley.

Almost ready. Photo courtesy of Bob Shipley.

One final note from Mountain Mahogany Community School: A huge thanks goes to parent Mike Tullai for his expertise, time and effort offered to create the design of the Libraries, build the prototype, prepare all the materials and help fuide the students through the 3-day process.

Thanks also to parents Brian Archer, Sage Colombo and Lucky Donohue for their hands-on support during the building process. Many thanks to the following individuals who purchased a Library or donated money or materials: Ariele Bauers, Vera Clyne, Becky Chwirka, Dan Corcoran, Baylor del Rosario, Danae Fernandez, Mike Kolbusz, Hoffmantown Neighborhood Association (led by Darcy Hunter), Joan Little, Wendy Natoli, Becca Rutledge, Kendra Toth, Melanie Wagner and an anonymous donor.

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