Congratulations to this month’s Impact Library recipients, and welcome to the Little Free Library family! After a brief hiatus, we are thrilled to get back to granting little libraries to communities all over the country.
Little Free Library’s Impact Library Program provides no-cost Little Free Library book exchanges to underserved communities where they can make a meaningful impact on book access and reading motivation.
Trista Brophy | Gainsville, FL
Our neighborhood is a racially diverse, low income area with a mix of young families and seniors. It sits in the middle of a mostly black and low-income area to the SE and a mostly white upper-class neighborhood to the SW. Families, kids, young couples, singles, and seniors walk the neighborhood regularly but few interact. We want to change this by installing a library on the corner of our property, which is near the corner of two local roads and the community mailbox, so everyone can have a place to meet and build a shared community identify through literature. This is part of a larger effort to unite the community, building trust and bonds, and improve social cohesion for all of us. The Free Little Library will have attractive landscaping, lighting for safety, and signage to encourage use. We will also pass out flyers letting the neighborhood know the library is open and free for all to enjoy! We have already started building a movement with neighbors and I think they will be happy to help get this project going as well!
Caroline Matkowski | Army Trail School | Addison, IL
Our community is diverse, both socioeconomically and culturally. Often there is a clear divide in our community for availability to resources. This year, as a school, we have been focused on building our community of literacy and trying to instill a love of reading within our K-5 students as well as staff. We have been focusing on access, time, and choice for our students. Book access is something not all students have equitable opportunities for. Many of our students do not have books in their homes and often cannot go to the local library. We have done a lot of work to make book access equitable within our building walls. A Little Free Library would give our resource disadvantaged families access to books year-round. We are a neighborhood school, meaning there are no “bus students” and every family lives within walking distance. We love that our students and families would be able to walk to school for book access 24/7. Our Little Free Library would help our students and their families build their joy of reading, build their libraries, and help them to realize the importance of books in their children’s lives.
Bi-Mia Reid | Oceanside, CA
Oceanside is a neighborhood in North San Diego county and home to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. In addition to our military families, we have a large migrant population. This LFL will be centered less than a mile between two elementary schools that qualify as Title One. With schools closed until fall, and the closest public libraries 5 miles away in either direction, this LFL will serve as a unifying spot for the community to access literature without cost, expectations, payments, or forms. Many families walking in this area will have access to a robust collection of books acquired in my nearly 20 years of experience working as a public children’s and elementary school librarian. Situated at my home at the end of a cul-de-sac, yet visible from a major thoroughfare, seating, flowers and herbs, and water for pets will make the location a center for community engagement, and a spot to plant a love of literature into the families we will serve.
Ann Shincovich | Pocono Mountain Public Library | Tobyhanna, PA
The area we live has rural/ex-urban poor and working class. Many of our families do not have access to their own reading materials. The public library has limited hours because of budgetary constraints, and many of the working families have only one car per household. Many of our residents are stuck at home or restricted by their work schedules b/c they work in local distribution centers, etc, or have shift work. There are a number of reasons that our local families and interested readers are not able to get the books they need or want. Reading in paper form is the best way to get struggling kids to read! The goal of this little free library box is to expand the reach of books into our community. I am the director of our public library and I know firsthand the limitations of our community. I am eagerly looking forward to the little free library box to significantly add to our ability to put books into our community. We hope to put the little free box in our municipal complex, which also has a food pantry, so people can get books at any time of day that is convenient to them.
Rocio Sinche | Albuquerque Housing Authority | Albuquerque, NM
We have 27 PH properties around the city and we would love to place one at one of our family sites. Books from this library would provide reading material and resources to our public housing families and children. Public housing are considered book deserts, which mean less than 1 book lives in the household. We believe a little Library would enhance our ability to reached families and children that would not normally visit a public library. It would provide a unique delivery method that enhances the reader’s curiosity and allows them to discover new titles in a less overwhelming environment. By placing a library directly on a public housing site, the children living there would have a resource and physical structure that symbolizes that their community cares about their education and growth.