We are delighted to team up with the City of Albuquerque on a new initiative that encourages volunteers to establish Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in the community.

The partnership is part of the Office of Civic Engagement’s One ABQ Volunteers program, which helps match volunteers with service projects that align with their skill sets and interests. Establishing a Little Free Library is now one of the projects One ABQ endorses to help make Albuquerque a more inclusive and innovative city. LFL joins the AmeriCorps VISTA program as one of the first national organizations to partner with the Office of Civic Engagement.

“We are honored to engage with the city in this way, and we are excited to see how the landscape of this community changes with a focused effort around building community and creating greater book access,” said LFL Director of Programs Shelby King. “One book-sharing box at a time—that’s all it takes to have an impact.”

The partnership between LFL and the City of Albuquerque was first prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to support literacy and provide access to books while public libraries, schools and bookstores were closed. But what began as an emergency measure quickly became an opportunity to expand equitable book access far beyond the pandemic.

“We are excited to partner with the Little Free Library organization to support community collaboration and expanded access to books and literacy resources,” said Albuquerque First Lady, Elizabeth Kistin Keller.

“For years we’ve been fortunate to have community members build their own Little Free Libraries. Over the last few months, in particular, we’ve seen how they can maintain a love of reading in kids when schools and libraries are closed and serve as a powerful way for communities to connect and share with each other from a distance during the coronavirus pandemic,” Keller continued.

“We are thrilled to share this program with volunteers in Albuquerque and look forward to expanded access to books and literacy resources as the number of Little Free Libraries grows in our community.”

Albuquerque currently has more than 60 Little Free Libraries, but that number is expected to rise thanks to this new initiative. We hope it motivates other cities to start book-sharing programs as well.

“We are passionate about improving book access and building community using Little Free Library book-sharing boxes as the vehicle to do so,” says King. “And we are eager for the work we’re doing with the City of Albuquerque to serve as a model for other communities across the country that may have similar goals. We know there are cities all over looking for ways to bring people together and hope this partnership inspires action elsewhere.” 

 Read more about the initiative here.

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