The Little Free Library nonprofit organization is granting 100 Little Free Library book-sharing boxes to sites that serve children in an effort to improve book access for kids across the country. We’re thrilled to announce the grantees! Recipients include schools, literacy groups, Native American reservations, health centers, homeless shelters, laundromats, and more.

Our 100-library giveaway is in celebration of LFL reaching 100,000 Little Free Library book-sharing boxes worldwide. The 100,000th Little Free Library was granted to the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans in Houston, Texas, on March 11.

“We are happy to recognize the hard work of our stewards who made 100,000 Little Free Library installations possible by granting 100 of our libraries and book packages where they are needed most,” said LFL Executive Director Greig Metzger. “While our Impact Library Program makes grants to all types of underserved communities, this special initiative prioritizes organizations that serve children.” 

“There is no more critical time for our children,” Metzger continued. “With most schools being closed since mid-March, access to books—a foundation for developing life-long literacy skills—is critical. We are honored to do our small part to fill the gap in honor of our stewards everywhere.”

Each grantee will receive a Little Free Library book-sharing box, a mounting post, and a selection of children’s books generously provided by learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Grantees Announced September 2020

C. J. Novak | Fargo, North Dakota

We have a large set of apartments in this complex, with at least 37 elementary students, plus another 170 children within a reasonable walking distance. As well as several hundred book reading adults that pass this spot daily. Many ESL children will benefit from an additional resource to them for this community.”

Cassandra Taylor | Daymar College | Murfreesboro, Tennessee

“Though my current community has many library locations. They are all within a five-mile radius of each other and this college’s location is on the other side of town. No, the library is not more than 10 miles away, but it is blocked by the interstate. Daymar College is a career college. We have a very small campus and serve a small student population, however, this is one of the most low-income areas of town and is on the county line. We are also next to the Department of Child Services and The City School District building. In addition to seeing traffic from these municipal services, the most dominant campus demographic is African-American/Black single mothers. I really believe adding this resource would not only allow for my campus to make a larger impact on the surrounding community, but also give our students an outlet for community outreach.”

Cheryl Hancock | Harney Country Library | Burns, Oregon

We are located in a remote, rural area of less than one person per square mile, 150 miles from the nearest large city. Our resources are limited. We are going to place this little library in Rainbow Park, located on the Paiute Reservation in Burns. Rainbow Park is located next to the ‘Kids House’ known as Tu-Wa-Kii Nobi, which serves tribal youth ages 5-18. Tu-Wa-Kii Nobi youth will have access to this library and the free books. Encouraged to read 20 minutes every day, kids will have a ready supply of books to use. These kids are too far from the Harney County Library to walk so their access to books is limited. Other members of the Burns Paiute tribe will also have access to a source of free books. The tribe’s 2015 community comprehensive plan includes a library as one of the assets most needed in their community. We would like to fill that need, at least on a small scale (for the present).”

Jeff Corbett | Stark County District Library | Canton, Ohio

This is an inner-city community. The children love visiting the library, but since we are a small branch, our hours are limited. Wouldn’t it be nice if the families could have access to high quality books during the times that we are closed, especially when they are off from school such as evenings and weekends? We are also next to a ‘Head Start’ preschool which I regularly visit. I see that there is such a need for these families to have easy access to books as they are running in/out to pick up/drop off their children.”

Julie Alford | Rome High School |

The city of Rome, Georgia has 36,434 residents, with the median household salary at $38,145 and the poverty rate at 25.5%. Rome High School is a Title 1 school and it has 1,788 students with the majority being minority students. The reading proficiency rate of the students is 45%. A Little Free Library installed at the bus drop-off area at the school would serve many students. Most of our students ride buses and the area is adjacent to the student parking lot so it is a very high traffic area. I believe a Little Free Library would be very popular with our students who need constant access books. The LIttle Free Library would serve as a partner to the school library by providing books to students who do not have the time or means to visit the school and public libary. I feel that the addition of the Little Free Library would also be a catalyst to add more libraries at the middle and elementary schools, as it would serve as a model for our construction class to build more libraries. It would provide a great opportunity for our school and our community to promote reading.”

Lisa Lawhead | Killbuck Elementary School | Killbuck, Ohio

Killbuck Elementary School is in the West Holmes Local School District, with a student enrollment of approximately 240 students. The majority of our students are on free/reduced lunch. It has been my dream for the past few years to install a Little Free Library on the campus of our school to make books available to our students and their families. The village of Killbuck has less than 1000 residents. There is a volunteer-run community library in the village; however because it is entirely run by volunteers it is open on a limited basis.”

Megan McGonigle | Ishikawa Elementary School | Mesa, Arizona

Our community is a wonderful community with an elementary school, two churches, and a middle school all beside each other. Students and families alike are often walking, biking, or running around our neighborhood and when the schools are closed, many of our students either do not have access to the public library or it is inconvenient for them to get there. We also have a very mixed population of students who reside in trailer parks, Native American communities, and others. The addition of a Little Library would be outstanding as we could help to provide books for those communities in particular. We just lost our Title 1 status, but that does not mean that community is gone – they simply now have fewer resources. We would love to be a location for a Little Library for the benefit of all students, teachers, and families within our community!”

Michelle Norris | ArtsView Children's Theatre | Longview, Texas

This location is at the children’s theatre that I oversee. We are in the lower income portion of our City, as well as in the new Cultural District. We serve over 800 families a year at the theatre, with over 5,000 patrons a year. Aside from those who come to the theatre, families who live in our area, as well as those visiting our new culture district, will all have access to this library. There is not a Little Free Library located in the district and it would be an added way to bring culture and literacy to our area. In addition, we would like to house used scripts from our shows to add an additional dynamic to this library.”

Patricia Grogan | Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary | Coeymans, New York

I teach in a rural/suburban community. Our school provides free and reduced lunch to 60% of the students. The surrounding area has a low socio-economical status. Our school recently cut our school library/librarian in last years budget. This would be a great assesst to our community. Many of our students walk to school. Our students also have outdoor recess and this could be located in an area where students could access this. We currently have a man made red school house that is not maintained. This would be a great addition to our elementary school and motivator to our kids to read.”

Peggy McLenithan | Hoosac School | Hoosick, New York

I work at an independent boarding school. The Little Free Library would be used by our international students, as well as our small community. We have about 200 students who would benefit from this library. Additionally, at times the community accesses our gym and we host many events such as The Boy Scouts. Hoosac is committed to sustaining the small scale preparatory school model in which each student receives an individualized education with attention, care and guidance and is offered the opportunity to grow socially within the Hoosac School community. The Little Free Library is another way we could encourage our youth to grow through reading and connecting with others via the written word. I have a Little Free Library at my house and I hope to see a Little Free Library at the beginning of our long drive on Pine Valley Lane. “

Priyanka Kumar | Namaste Children | Santa Fe, New Mexico

Using stories, songs, and festival celebrations, we expose children in Santa Fe to languages and cultures from different parts of the world (with a focus on Hindi, Sanskrit, Spanish, and French). The Free Library will greatly enrich our weekly story hour. And we will do extemporaneous translations of the books we receive—a practice that will enhance our language and conversational skills! Our multilingual choir sings at community centers, which would be another venue for us to share the books we receive.”

Rachel Evans | Riverton Elementary School | Huntsville, Alabama

Thirty percent of the students at Riverton Elementary School receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school each day. These students do not have access to books at home like our more affluent students do. In order to bridge the equity gap, we’d like to place a Little Free Library at our playground, where many of our resource-poor students walk to and play on the weekends. Our playground is a hub within our community for children and young adults. Having rich texts readily available to this population of students would impact our students reading achievement by providing more resources for them to overcome some of the challenges and outcomes of growing up in poverty.”

Rebecca Johnson | Elba, New York

This library would be located in front of a UPK-12 public school in a rural community without a library. Some community members find it challenging to travel to the nearest public library due to a lack of transportation. Greater access to books would benefit children and adults alike who are developing as readers and community members. This is especially true over the summer when children are unable to check books out from the school library and lack a public library in their town. I work in the school library and would love to form a student club to maintain the Little Free Library. Sharing the responsibilities of maintaining the library would build the excitement among the children and families in the community. There is a playground, sports fields, and countless events held at the school year round that draw families and would ensure the Little Free Library is at the heart of the community. Elba is a very tight knit community that would excitedly embrace this opportunity.”

Riley Linck | Girl Scouts | Cove, Texas

My community is very family oriented and I think Little Free Libraries would be a positive in our town. It would allow parents and children to go out together and read. My issue that I am covering for my Gold Award for Girl Scouts is failing rates in reading with young people. I think that Little Free Libraries would allow many more children to have the access they need to books.”

Grantees Announced July 2020

 

Bertha Martinez | Ellen Ochoa Learning Center | Cudahy, California

“The community that would be served my this little library is one of the poorest cities in the country. Our community is composed of low income Latino families and new immigrants. I would like to provide English and Spanish book fir families in this community. This would be an excellent resources to families who can’t drive to nearby libraries that are poorly funded and limited in their selection of bilingual book. My goal would be to encourage this community where I have worked for 27 years to embrace biliteracy, bilingualism and pride about their culture, heritage and their two languages.”

Joyce Harduvel | Chicago Public Schools | Chicago, Illinois

“A neighborhood elementary school in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, our school provides students a high-quality education that emphasizes 21st-century skills and prepares students to be real-world leaders and innovators. Designated a welcoming school in a community hit particularly hard by the nation’s largest school closing six years ago, we are a fixture in the community with families attending the school for generations and regularly volunteering at the school. We are a hub for parent and family resources, hosting many Parent University events, from resume writing to college tours. We have a nationally competitive chess team that recently placed fourth in the nation, a vibrant arts education program, hands-on STEM projects at every grade level, leadership programming such as our student voice committee and bully-blockers program, cultural trips that take students all over the country, and school-wide social-emotional lessons integrated into the curriculum. It is through the extraordinary efforts and fundraising of staff, parents, and the community that these initiatives are possible, despite budget constraints. The library will serve the children in the community who don’t otherwise always have easy access to books.”

Judy Collins | LIFE Transition Program | Arlington Heights, Illinois

“LIFE Transition is a program for young adults with a wide range of special needs ages 18-22 years. We are housed in a building that serves high school youth in three programs that for a variety of reasons do not attend traditional high school classes in their home school. These students have a variety of ethnic backgrounds and income statuses. Our surrounding residential neighbor is a majority of multi-family dwellings – apartments, townhouses, condos along with some single family homes. Again, the people residing in these are of many different ethnic and income backgrounds. Within our own building, students and staff provide a pre-school for neighborhood children. While there are public libraries within 10 miles, the access to these libraries is not always easy to access. Having a LFL would be an awesome community outreach program for both our neighbors and the high school students that attend classes in our building. The LIFE students that would manage and be Stewards of the LFL would use their academic, vocational and social skills in managing the library. I cannot think of a better program to be awarded a LFL and see potential for growth in this endeavor.”

Katherine Clemente | KIPP Memphis | Memphis, Tennessee

“I am a teacher at a 5-12 public school in Memphis, TN. We serve close to 1,000 students. Our school is in the middle of the Hyde Park neighborhood. The school is a 25 minute walk away from the nearest library. Having a little free library right at school will give students the ability to get books on the weekend. Our school has a library but some of our children don’t use it because they fear being charged if they lose a book. Having a Little Free Library will give students the ability to get a book without the fear of having to return it. Owning a book is an amazing feeling, one most of our students are not privileged in having. Whenever I give a child a book for them to keep their eyes light up and they get excited. Most of my students have little siblings they enjoy reading to. This Little Free Library would be in the heart of the neighborhood. If you drive in any well-off neighborhood in Memphis you will see a Little Free Library; our low income community also deserves one.”

Katie Hannan | Washington Middle School | Dubuque, Iowa

“I am a middle school librarian serving two public schools. Both of my schools serve low-income families, all of whom get free lunch and breakfast. Access to books outside of the school day is limited and in many cases nonexistent. Although students have access to our public library, many of them are transient and therefore are challenged with the burden of returning borrowed books. Many will never own a book. By setting up a Little Free Library on our school’s campus (or campuses), students can continue to read when they are not in school whether that is during the summer or now during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a school community, teachers contacted all of our students this week to check in on them while they are away from school. Many expressed the desire to read but lack a book. As a teacher librarian I provided them information about ebooks, but so many of them do not have the technology to take advantage of this. Access to a Little Free Library at my school or schools would be giving our community such an amazing gift that would resonate for years to come and help foster the love of reading.”

Katie Spicer | Northwood Hills Elementary | Dallas, Texas

“Northwood Hills Elementary (NHE) serves a diverse group of children from a variety of different ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. One thing that binds us all together is our desire for our children to flourish. A proven way to achieve this is to expose kids to books and to model a love of reading. A Little Free Library at NHE would provide easy in-walking-distance access to reading materials for many kids do not have the means to access the local public library, even though it’s close by. A Little Free Library would also send a powerful message of unity, commitment, and care—demonstrating that we adults support the future success and well being of ALL neighborhood children and youth.”

Kelsey Brown | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“There are over a dozen elementary and middle schools 2 miles and under from my home. Multiple are walking distance, including St. Matthew School, Mayfair School, Austin Meehan, and Lincoln High School. As a result, there are a lot of kids residing in the neighborhood. This is a culturally diverse area and I would ensure there are plenty of options and representation in the library to reflect the diversity of Philly. I am a Book Fairy and are frequently sent books by the Book Fairies organization supplied by publishers to “drop”, which I would contribute to the Little Free Library. Four titles in the last month were YA/children’s books. There are many LFLs in South Philly, but only a few in Northeast Philly, only one other close by. The closest regional [public] library of Phila is 2 miles away, but the hours are limited aside from two days. The library just lifted their policy of fines for late materials to make literature more accessible and reinvigorate the youth’s passion for reading. A LFL would add literary pixie dust to the area and encourage kids to share not only books but viewpoints by what they choose to share.”

Kristina Krengel | OH Stowe Elementary | Haltom City, Texas

“OH Stowe Elementary is about 85% free or reduced lunch Title 1 school serving a majority minority population. When asked, many of our students have no books at home, and their only access to books is at school. This LFL will help with gaps in access during the summer and on weekends when kids may not otherwise have access to new books. I hope it will help promote a reading culture for our school and community that we have been working to foster more the past year. This could be one more way kids can be exposed to books in a positive environment in our community.”

La-Neka Brown | Suffolk, Virginia

“The community is a mix of trailer homes, older single family homes, and new homes. The local schools are Title I schools. The community would benefit from having a focus on literacy at home. The closest library is less than 5 miles away but due to the roads and traffic students and families can’t easily walk there. The support of community partners will bring awareness to their businesses and foster collaboration among a variety of community organizations. The families and schools in the community would support the Little Free Library project. There is a mixture of elementary and secondary students in the neighborhood. It would be a great investment in our students and their academic success.”

Lanette Crafton | Wonderview School District | Hattieville, Arkansas

“Our school community is a small rural town with the school serving less than 500 students. Our school is the hub of our community. Everyone gathers at our school for events, so a Little Free Library would be so beneficial for our community for our residents who do not attend school. And for our school children, the library would help our children and young adults have access to books when school is not in session. Many of our students tell me that they do not have any books in their homes. We are a poor community, and any help with literacy would bless our community so much. Please give our school a Little Free Library to combat poverty and help our community become readers with the gift of a place to share our books! I cant wait to tell my students that they can get books all summer! I know some will cry tears of joy, especially our avid young adult readers!”

Laura Kelley | Brantley County Family Connection | Nahunta, Georgia

“The Little Free Library will be placed in front of our Brantley County Head Start, which currently serves 41 children, with next door agencies consisting of Brantley County DFCS and Unison Behavioral Health. With our families having very limited access to transportation, the Little Free Library location is within walking distance to the community, approximately 95 homes behind the agency’s location, as well as serve those throughout the county who are receiving services with any of these agencies. It will bring a sense of pride for a families to be independent and provide books for their children to ensure success in their future education and life. The use of the Little Free Library will also engage our community further in community activities, a true sense of togetherness.”

Laura Smaldone | NYC PS 536 | Bronx, New York

“Currently, at our school, 50% of students are reading on or above grade level. We are working to invest our students in learning to love reading by providing them with culturally responsive books. We are looking to expand our library to include quality books with characters and authors that our students can see themselves and their families in. We believe that through the Little Free Library, we can create excitement around and build investment in reading.”

Lauren Garletts | William Monroe Middle School | Stanardsville, Virginia

“The LFL library box would be placed on Greene County Public Schools’s Stanardsville Campus. This school campus encompasses a primary, elementary, middle, and high school. Greene County, VA is a rural, mountain community situated on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many residences of this county live near or below the poverty line and do not have ready access to books in their home. Having a Little Free Library will allow us to increase book ownership and increase literacy throughout the county. Having the ability to reach the majority of students in the county on one campus is unique. We would be sure the LFL is placed upon a place that gets a fair amount of student foot traffic, but is also easily available to parents and families.”

Rose Stashick | Eganville, Ontario, Canada

A rural community that is a tourist area in the summer with many lakes in the vicinity. I live on a lake and two doors down is a camp that is owned by the Girls and Boys club in Ottawa Ontario. All summer underprivileged kids come to the camp for a week of fun and I believe having a Little Library so close would provide them with an additional bonus. How great to be able to pick a book to read while at camp and to bring back home with them! There are also other campgrounds nearby and I would be sure to provide signage so that the library could be easily found.”

Rosean Lindsey | Norfolk, Virginia

I live in a community with a lot of kids who struggle with reading. I am a youth advocate who create books to encourage our kids not to bully. I have a little that was built by kids in another location and it was also on the news. There is another location that desperately need help in a poverty consuming area. Please help me, I know how to reach trouble youth through literacy and I see another need for another area with the kids and I need help being a blessing.”

Shanie Mantz | Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

I live between an elementary and middle school. My husband and I are teachers and we plan to use this little free library to spread the love of reading to the students and young children in our neighborhood. The library will be off the sidewalk near a trafficked street that both middle school and elementary school students walk down to get to and from school and home daily. We will be able to keep it stocked with both new and used books year round. Tight budgets make it difficult to make a library as amazing as this kit provides with such ease. This would mean a lot to our neighborhood and community. We’re very involved in the elementary school near by and would advertise with their weekly newsletters.”

Shawna Haley-Bear | Sherwood Heights Elementary Library | Auburn, Maine

We are a Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Six Elementary School with 399 students. About 65% of our students qualified for free or reduced meals and our student mobility rate is approximately 32% per school year. Our “little library,” which may not be officially recognized, was accidentally plowed down by our maintenance staff during a snow storm in January 2020. This is a location that is utilized, stocked and restocked often by staff, families, students, and community members of our neighborhood school. Its location may change slightly to proactively avoid plows, but it will remain outside in front of our school to encourage all readers of our community. Our families are hard working, but could be one crisis away from financial ruins. Books are valued, but at times are not accessible to all. This little location is a literacy lifeline to our neighborhood.”

Tamara Schoen | Coral Glades HS Literacy Dept | Coral Springs, Florida

Coral Glades High School has a diverse population of students, both racially, culturally and economically. Approximately 62% of our students are on free and reduced lunch and more than 70% of our students identify as minorities. There is also quite a bit of language diversity in our community. We would set this free library up in our Zone…to encourage reading, not only for our students, but for the little ones who will be coming to us years from now. If we can instill a love of reading at an early age, perhaps we can eventually eradicate the need for reading classes at our school.”

Tammy Diaz | Winslow Public Schools | Winslow, Maine

Winslow is a small town in Maine with the school aged population around 1,155 students pre-K-12. Our school has worked tremendously hard to improve opportunities for students, families and community members that nurture well-being such as partnering with 5-2-1-0 Let’s go program, area trail systems, and local public health departments to support all families in our community to the greatest level. Many of our staff are currently volunteering to bus food to all children in our community providing approximately 9000 meals this past week. However, at our staff meeting this week, several of our teachers expressed concerns about students not having access to books for reading during this time of school closure. Our schools are centrally located in a neighborhood area easily accessible to a large number of our students/families. Having a Little Free Library would lend opportunity for access to books as well as provide a means for notes of kindness and encouragement to families during this time. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to consider our school system for a Little Free Library grant.”

Tina Terry | Art by Tina Terry | Gautier, Mississippi

This is where I work and we serve low income families. Our facility offers services for day treatment and outpatient services for mental and behaviorial program.By placing the library on our property we will be able to serve the community in which we serve on more than just day treatment services. We can promote reading and family time within our population.”

Trisha Wright | Gateway Pointe Elementary | Gilbert, Arizona

The little library would serve students in the neighborhood and be an anchor in the community that promotes literacy. We have a population of homeless students on our campus and this library will serve as a space to borrow books and share in a love for reading. Parents with preschool age children will get a sense of our school’s passion for literacy and can stop for books too. This library will be a connection piece to others in the community that helps instill a love for learning, reading and books.”

Vickie Blankenship | Asheville, North Carolina

This Little Free Library will serve the school and community at Asheville Primary School. The library will be located at a Montessori Magnet Public School in West Asheville. Our inner city Primary school is located in North Carolina. A majority of our students are from low-wealth homes. The campus houses 7 traditional preschool classrooms and 5 Montessori Primary classrooms. Our urban school believes in positively reinforcing student learning and behaviors by providing project based units of instruction that allow students to connect with the community. A Little Free Library will be a wonderful gift for our school and community.”

Jane Gilbert | McGary Middle School |

We are a priority school with focus on reading improvement. Low income households surround the neighborhood around the school. This summer, many families were benefited from in the FeedEvansville program along with ReadEvansville. Free books were given out along with free dairy and produce. Many participants shared that they did not have any reading books in the household for their children and how much the kids looked forward to getting new books every week! Many of my students’ families were among this group. I began looking around the school’s neighborhood to see if Free Little Libraries existed. They did not. I also remember during our stay at home order during March , April, and May, many of our students did not have internet access. The closest library is about 5 miles, not walking distance! Some students went to the local Taco Bell and sat in the parking lot to submit their schoolwork via the hotspot internet!”

Harmony Phillips | Hurley Elementary School | Hurley, New Mexico

Hurley is a small, rural, low-income mining community with a primarily Hispanic population. The elementary school is a vital element to the community, especially it’s children, and the only place to access free reading material within miles. Our Little Free Library will be placed outside the school which is within walking distance to most of the community. It will allow children and families to have continued access to books throughout the year, which is especially important during these times of distance learning!”

Linda Miles-Adams | RCMA | Wimauma, Florida

“The Little Free Library would serve children on the campus of RCMA (Redlands Christian Migrant Association) child development center and charter schools. For 55 years, RCMA has served the children of low income, rural and farmworker families. On our campus in Wimauma, we serve more than 400 children, infants through 8th grade, educating and preparing them for a choice-filled life. We impact entire families by offering parents classes to help them support their children and build strong relationships. Access to reading materials is essential for our families that lack resources for reading materials. We are a bilingual program and would greatly benefit from a Little Free Library. This is an opportunity to build community and provide access to reading materials, as well as share the love of books and reading.”

Melanie Raelin | Book Wonder/4GoodVibes | Medford, Massachusetts

“Book Wonder and 4GoodVibes is located in the South Medford business district. South Medford is the most diverse area of our city in terms of race, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. We have worked tirelessly to bring the community together on many occasions, including business trick-or-treating, holiday stroll events, and open studios. We get a large number of pedestrians walking in the area, who utilize the busy bus-stop and commute to/from work, school, and the playgrounds. We’ve been thinking for a long time that a little library would be ideal in front of our gift shop and bookstore. I run the bookshop and also am a local “book fairy”, visiting all our city little libraries and keeping them stocked with beautiful books for children and young adults. I have dreamed of installing a little library that would serve the many diverse families and residents who frequent our block. I love promoting the love of reading, and believe strongly in access to mirror and window books as my shop has graphic novels and titles featuring diverse heroes—females, BIPOC, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. This would be utilized instantly and mean the world to our community.”

Melissa Martin | Comfort, Texas

“I teach K-5th grade kids at a Title-1 school in Kerrville, TX. Literacy is my full time passion! I am well known by students and coworkers alike for having the most comprehensive libraries at school and home. And they all know I live for putting books in people’s hands, and I will share any title I own! Twenty miles away is Comfort, the tiny, unincorporated township I (and this LFL will) call home. Comfort is fairly rural having minimal services and a school district with Title-1 distinction. There is a library, but as you can imagine it’s miniscule. Having this LFL will allow me to share my love of reading and sharing of books with the people in my home community. I can think of nothing more fulfilling and beneficial for all involved.”

Michelle Poast | Carriage Hill PTO | Papillion, Nebraska

“Our Little Free Library will be placed at our elementary school that serves about 450 students in kindergarten through 6th grade. We are a Title I school where many students receive free or reduced school lunches. This library will help our students, their families, and many other community members to have access to books for their families. These books will help our students and families have access to books even when the school and public library is not open. It will also give our community a place to meet up with each other and connect outside of school. Our school staff works hard to promote reading in and outside of school. This library will be a great addition to our community!”

Michelle Jolicoeur | Centennial Elementary School | Springfield, Oregon

“Centennial Elementary serves a low-income community with many of the students in the county, which does not have free access to the public library. This underserved community sends books home weekly from the school library, and for many students, these are the only books in their home. Having a Little Free Library would provide an opportunity to teach students and families about community service and a giving heart while instilling the importance of books, reading, and inclusion.”

Missy Jones | Fairview Park, Ohio

“I have three boys, which equates to a lot of kids in and out of my house daily. The community that would benefit the most from a Little Free Library though is those kids that struggle with reading. To have easy, fun access to books that they find interest in would be so beneficial. To take a book and keep it as long as they like, or forever, or share it with another struggling reader would be something new for these kids. My hope is this would be something fun and engaging for kids that presently don’t find joy in reading.”

Misty Morris | Butte, Montana

“Mrs. White was the name of my 4th grade teacher and she is the reason I am a reader. I grew up in Butte, Montana, a small town on a busy interstate. According to data, 47% of the town is defined as low-income and seven of the eight public schools are Title 1. Once one of the largest towns west of the Mississippi, the population has dwindled. The mines that once made it ‘The Richest Hill on Earth’ now make it the largest Superfund site in the United States. I would like to place a Little Free Library here to give access to an economically depressed area of budding readers. Books and community resources here are scarce. The families here face the struggle of living paycheck-to-paycheck. I know first-hand the struggle and rarely are funds used for things like books. A library will add support and will have a huge impact on community building. It will allow families to exchange books with other families in a similar situation. The town is attempting to revitalize and create opportunities for the younger generation. Books will be a welcome addition.”

Pam Whitehead | Conestoga Ministries | Monroe, Georgia

“Our Little Free Library would be at Magnolia Terrace, a housing project by the Monroe Housing Authority in Georgia. There are a lot of economically disadvantaged children with adults of all ages. Our LFL will be mobile due to the location. I have started an after-school program for children K-5th grade once a week in their community center. The LFL would be in the community center where others would also have access. When I do events outside for the whole community the LFL will be there. An emphasis on encouraging children to read was requested. I also wanted to reach 6th-12th graders and adults. The LFL would make books available year-round increasing the opportunity to read that they probably would not have. I will have a block party to kick off our LFL. Throughout the year I will have events and reading hours that include the LFL bringing the community together more. There are other housing projects this could serve as a catalyst for. As I have opportunities to share about my ministry in Georgia and through my newsletter that goes beyond my state I hope others are encouraged to have a LFL.”

Rhonda Funk | Ste. Anne, Manitoba, Canada

“We are a bilingual (French and English) small rural community of low-income families. Our community is between two towns: Ste. Anne, which has 4 schools (French K-12, French immersion K-8, English K-8, and English HS 9-12) and 2 daycares. The nearest town to us Richer, which has one English school K-8 and 1 daycare. Richer has no direct access to free books or library. Our location is right on the highway a mile from Richer, this location would give access to many who travel to cottage/camping country; we have 3 campgrounds a mile away, 1 popular camping resort 7 miles down road, and a retirement village. Our service road alone has 14 kids/youth and 11 adults. I would place the LFL near my garden where I routinely offer free overstock produce to the community. Our location would give access to all ages by foot or driven. I believe having a LFL in our rural community will bring families together and outside.”

Hannah Irish | Columbia Academy | Columbia, Tennessee

“We are a private preschool-12th grade school that serves just under 1,000 students and is located on a few acres. Many think that because students come here they are wealthy. This is not the case many times over. Parents make many sacrifices to send their children here. We hold many sporting, community, school, and summer events on our campus. This Little Free Library would give our students, visitors, and their families an access point to new and relevant literature. It would offer a place for us to share our love of reading with those that visit our campus daily and sporadically. Students from other schools in our lower-income city could take a book when they come for the elementary track meet, weekend basketball game, or summer camp. Teens that pass through our campus on foot from adjacent neighborhoods could grab a new book on their way to the gas station. The library’s central location on our campus and within the community would provide numerous opportunities to get books into the hands of our youth.”

Sima Hill | Little Linguists International Preschool | Decatur, Georgia

“Our school would be delighted to serve our community in this way of offering books to our surrounding community. Right now I drop off books to local area neighborhoods in a shoebox, so this would be amazing to actually have a base. Our school backs up to 90 acres of low-income housing and most of the families pass our school daily. I think it would benefit the youth as well as offering books for parents. This will allow children to gain more access to the world outside of their community. Which in turn helps everybody grow. We are also going to put a small pantry beside the library to offer food. We want our neighbors to know we care and are here to support them as well.”

Grantees Announced June 2020

Angela Maull | Chenchitas | New York, New York

“East Harlem Community is where 29% of residents and half of the children live below the poverty line. The Little Free Library will improve excellent quality of life and knowledge to communities in the park. They can receive free books, relax, and read to the children at the park and home—have storytime and read out loud.”

Adrienne Snow | Enfield Public Schools | Enfield, Connecticut

The community being served will be the Thompsonville section of the city of Enfield. It is a low-income area with many duplexes and apartments surrounding the no-longer operational Bigelow-Hartford carpet factories. It is an area where many residents are without cars and rely on walking to get around. Our Little Free Library will be in front of Alcorn School along route 5 which has a well-traveled large sidewalk area and a pull-through where those who have cars could park temporarily to visit the library. It would be awesome to have the Little Free Library in that spot as it would provide access to many Enfield residents who are not able to visit the nearby Pearl Street Library due to the library’s minimal operational hours. Also, Thompsonville has a large number of families for whom English is a new/2nd language and/or are new to the U.S. The Little Free Library would give them access to books without the language or paperwork barrier that other public institutions request/require.”

Alejandro De La Peña | Parkland Middle School | El Paso, Texas

“Our school is at the ‘heart of the northeast’ of El Paso and in an area that is historically low-income which translates to a higher probability that our families do not have enough access to books, especially books that they can call their own. This contributes to having our students grow up, on average, three years behind children in homes with lots of books. By increasing their access to books after school we can increase reading achievement in our student population.  Little Free Library book-sharing boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books in areas where books are scarce, like our community. Please help us get this important resource for our school!”

Amanda Graves | E.T. Booth Middle School | Woodstock, Georgia

“Having a Little Free Library at E.T. Booth Middle School has been a dream of mine for many years. Our school serves over 1,800 students with a high school next door of over 2,400 students. Several of the elementary schools that feed our school are Title I, and with an ever changing population of students and families, our school has also become Title I. Every year we are seeing an increase in lower income families along with a greater English Learner population. This location will not only attract those middle/high school students who often struggle to find the enjoyment of reading, but also for their younger siblings who crave reading material. A school library is only open for business 180 days a year, but our students need to feel that reading and books are available to them year round. In addition, the value of free books for our students is priceless. For our students to be able to have a place to ‘check-out’ a book without fear of county mandated late fines or lost book charges will greatly enhance their accessibility and enjoyment of reading materials. I truly believe that this would have a huge impact on our students and community.”

Becky Anderson | Reidsville, Georgia

“Tattnall County ranks 128 out of 159 counties in Georgia for poverty. We are a very low economic area with a very high illiteracy rate. With this knowledge our organization is working to place books in homes that may not otherwise have access to literacy materials. We will use the Little Free Library at the Reidsville Health Department which is located near two housing projects. The children that live in these homes can easily access the books at this location but do not have easy access to the local public library. We feel that this will be a perfect solution to provide books to young readers that may not have books readily available for them.”

Brea Spann | Thornton, Colorado

“Our community here in Old Thornton is an amalgam of beautifully diverse, hardworking folks. This site, which is just across the street from my home and one of the neighborhood schools, was once our community center and has since been converted to our children and teens’ center. In maintaining a Little Free Library at this location, we believe we can engage both our neighborhood kids and their parents as they come to and from after-school and other programs. I mean, it’s so fun, right?! They can quickly and easily pick out books together or share some they’ve finished or outgrown. It really sounds like just the thing we need to encourage that little bit of extra reading time.”

Charla Bregante | Housing Authority City of Santa Barbara | Santa Barbara, California

“The Housing Authority serves low-income families, among others. We have Little Free Libraries at six of our family properties already. This one will either go to another property or be outside our office for residents to enjoy. Our agency is part of the ‘Campaign for Grade Level Reading’ and we also participate in the ‘Read Aloud 15 Minutes’ campaign. Little Free Libraries are an important part of our literacy promotion efforts.”

Christina Faustini | St. Petersburg, Florida

“Our area is located in an urban area with many children and teens who need a good resource for quality reading material. The location we are choosing is actually a designated bus stop for many local schools. This location will allow the dispersion of much needed reading material to a demographic of children and teens who do not have access to a traditional library. My daughter loves the little library at Gulfport rec and wants to share the experience with her neighborhood. For her gifted project this year she has chosen the creation of a little library and is excited to present her community service project in her gifted class at Gulfport Elementary.”

Christy Garrard | Issaquah Highlands Council | Issaquah, Washington

“Issaquah Highlands is a suburb of the City of Issaquah, Washington, with a population of 12,000+. Our community is culturally, economically, and age-diverse; from retirees to young families, singles to empty-nesters. Our community is a mix of single-family homes, multi-family and low-income housing. Our organization is located at the Blakely Hall community center and we support the efforts of the affordable-housing properties including the YWCA Family Village and Lauren Heights. This Little Free Library will serve families and seniors living in the Lauren Heights affordable housing complex. While our local public library is 3.4 miles away, Issaquah Highlands is located on a steep hillside making it difficult to walk back UP hill after a library visit (not to mention an almost 8 mile round-trip!) and many of the residents are without transportation.”

Constance Hartman | Knoxville, Tennessee

“I am tutoring children in a low income area for free. ‘The more we read the more we know.’ So many children need the opportunity to learn, and I want to offer it free. I would like to incorporate a Little Free Library into my location, so all children and others in the area may experience the many possibilities, adventures, and more that learning to read and loving books brings. Once a child learns to read and love books the possibilities and experiences are endless! Imagination is everything and books supply that. I want a free library in our low income area to make it easy for a child and parents to get books and share books. I have so many donors waiting in the wings to supply books for my dream, my reality, and my Little Free Library. Knowledge is power!!! And power is endless with reading skills, knowledge, and imagination. My free tutoring program would be enhanced by a Little Free Library. The two will help build strong, confident readers, able to not only read but understand and enjoy a variety of subjects.”

Danielle Mapes | Traverse Heights Elementary School | Traverse City, Michigan

“This library would go in our elementary school’s garden. The children at our Title 1 school are wonderful, charismatic little humans who are always looking to get their hands on new books! A large majority of the children walk to school and are active in the neighborhood throughout the weekend. This little library would be a beautiful gift for them, as they would be able to wander through the garden at their own pace to donate or find new books. This year, we have been discussing ways to keep our library and school a peaceful and beautiful space. I truly believe this little library would help to further encourage their sense of ownership over our school’s library and allow them the opportunity to be active participants in choosing their own books.”

Danielle Soliman | Charlotte, North Carolina

“The Little Free Library would be placed on the grounds of Nations Ford Elementary School, a traditional elementary school located in a richly diverse neighborhood in southwest Charlotte, NC, where 75% of the students are Hispanic and Latino and 20% are African American. This school is a Title 1 school receiving assistance, where many children struggle for literacy proficiency. By providing this school with a Little Free Library, we would be putting books in the hands of many children who typically don’t have access to books, let alone books with characters that look like them or are written by people who look like them. My family and I would like to keep this library regularly stocked with a diverse set of books, providing children access to all types of literature, fiction, nonfiction, poems, comics, chapter books, early reader books, etc. My daughter and I are weekly reading buddies to third graders at this school and we would love to have some of these amazing children continue their love of literature and stories at home with their families. Our goal is to provide these children and families access and to grow readers.”

Lisa Caraway | Stanbridge University | Irvine, California

“So far, three of our student organizations have provided Little Free Libraries to the communities of Stanton, Tustin, and Huntington Beach; we would ideally like to install 11 more Little Free Libraries to serve communities in need in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Our students are committed to volunteer service; they have successfully installed Little Free Libraries at the Illumination Foundation, serving the homeless community of adults and children; at Ryan’s Reach, serving brain injured individuals and their families; and at Beachside Nursing Center. By providing Stanbridge University with the gift of Little Free Libraries, students will be able to spread the joy of literacy to multiple nearby communities throughout Los Angeles and Orange County that are underserved and at need, for both youth and adults.”

Diana Lopez | Marin County Free Library/Marin Housing Authority | Marin City, California

“I partner with the Marin Housing Authority on the Book Rich Environment Initiative. We would like to put a Little Free Library in Golden Gate Village, the family public housing units in Marin City. This would help to ensure that families have free books in their homes to encourage reading.”

Donna Schiffer | Oak Ridge Elementary School | Tallahassee, Florida

“My library will be located just outside the gate of an elementary school, which is right across the street from supported housing, with a veterans’ housing center right around the corner. Although the nearest library is less than 10 miles away, there is a lack of personal transportation in the area. Since I work at the school and have been there since 1994, I know the community well and know that the students and parents in our community will be eager to have access to free books. Books change lives, we all can agree, and these families deserve the same access to life-changing books as those with more generous means. Finally, I dedicate my Little Free Library to the memory of my mother, who would drive me ten miles from our home so I could go check out books, since she knew of my love of reading.”

Ernest Johnson | DaVita Dialysis Care Of Rowan County| Salisbury, North Carolina

“DaVita primarily caters to an overall poorer constituency as it provides a means of entertainment and learning enrichment for the patients getting their dialysis and their families (primarily young children) who wait for them. It makes the painful ordeal of going through or having a loved one going through dialysis just a little bit more liveable as every time you enter the office, you are greeted by the wonderful luxury of books—they can transport you to a world unlike any other.”

Haley Fleegle | Altoona Area School District | Altoona, Pennsylvania

“The Altoona Area School District is an urban school district that has approximately 65% of its children classified as low socioeconomic status. With approximately 4,000 children served just in the eight elementary schools, it is essential that they have access to high-quality books. Pleasant Valley Elementary has 600+ students that utilize the grounds in the summer months and after school for recreation. This area is also utilized by children around our community. This site is an ideal location due to the number of people that utilize the site. Our goal is to create a culture that promotes literacy and the benefits academically, socially, and emotionally that it has for children. Our children will gain from continual access to books after the school day, over the summer, and beyond.”

Paige Holman | Hill Library | Strafford, New Hampshire

“I am the Director of the Hill Library in Strafford, NH. This is a small public library in a rural town with about 4,100 citizens. We would love to have a Little Free Library near the town’s public beach on Bow Lake. The beach is open from sunrise until 10 p.m. and the town provides a lifeguard seven days per week during the eight weeks of our short summer season. Many families enjoy the water day and night. In addition, the town provides affordable swim lessons to children for two two-week sessions in July and August each summer. The beach is a social gathering place for young families as well as teenagers. We obtained permission from the property owner near the beach to place a Little Free Library there. The (relatively) high foot traffic in this area makes it an ideal place. It will encourage children and young adults to read while at the beach, and also encourage more reading during the summer months. Our Youth Librarian is excited about planning off-site activities there in the summer months.”

Jennifer Baldwin | Jasper R-5 School District | Jasper, Missouri

“Jasper is a rural agricultural community with a population of approximately 1,000 people in Southwest Missouri. I have been the K-12 school librarian for the Title I school district, serving approximately 470 students through separate K-6th grade and 7-12th grade libraries, since 2005. My school libraries are closed during all breaks, including the summer.”

Jessica Harris | Peoria Unified Family Resource Center | Peoria, Arizona

“The Little Free Library would be installed at Sky View Elementary in the Peoria Unified School District (PUSD). Sky View is a Pre-K through 8th grade school, located in a neighborhood within walking distance of a public park, and houses the Preschool Office for the entire district as well as the PUSD Family Resource Center. The PUSD Family Resource Center is designed to provide parents and caregivers the tools they need to support the learning and development of their young children, with an emphasis on building strong families and helping to prepare children for kindergarten. Having a Little Free Library on campus is a perfect opportunity to extend the Family Resource Center’s goals, by giving all students and their families, as well as other families in the community, easy access to free books.”

Johnny Kruse | Wessington Springs, South Dakota

“We are a small community that strives to provide tools the youth in the community need to grow and learn, and reading is a fundamental building block towards a person’s success. We would like to put up a Little Free Library in the city park where parents take young children to play and families gather for celebrations, to help encourage kids in the community to grab a book to enjoy. Family reunions are held in the nearby field house every year and winter park activities are planned for the future, making this a prime location to put books in the path of all of the youth in the community and for youth from surrounding communities who visit.”

Joan Sveinsson | Friends of The Colony Public Library | The Colony, Texas

“The Colony is a young, family-oriented community. The current estimated population is 42,716; the population is projected to reach 46,586 by 2023. Four of the six elementary schools are Title I schools, as are the two middle schools and the high school.”

Joy Day | City of Jonesboro | Jonesboro, Georgia

“Massengale Park, a popular city park, is located just adjacent to our City Hall. The park was designed for young children (under age 10). It is a gathering place for families in our community. Having a Little Free Library in that location would provide a great opportunity for families to obtain and read books with their young children. Besides play equipment tailored for young children, a pavilion with picnic tables is located there. Around the perimeter are benches under shade trees. How wonderful it would be to see parents sharing books with their children at our Massengale Park! Reading with young children is fundamental to their verbal development and language skills. Many of our families do not have the funds to purchase books. A Little Free Library would be a godsend for these families and would encourage reading and an interest in books for these youngsters. We are committed as a City to teaming with our local schools on other projects to encourage learning. The Little Free Library would prove yet another tool for our community to encourage early learning.”

Stevie Millett | CE Academy | Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

“We are a small up-and-coming private school for special needs; we also have a physiotherapist located in the building bringing many siblings and family members through this location. I believe having a little library would brighten many of the families and kids faces when coming to drop off or pick up, or remaining while their children are in physiotherapy.”

Deb Wadkins | Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue | Leavenworth, Washington

“This library will be installed on the grounds of the two-room ‘remote and necessary’ public school within the Cascade School District located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range in Plain, WA (20 miles north of Leavenworth). Beaver Valley Elementary School has an exciting and diverse student population of 36 students ages K-5. Our community also supports a vast number of home-schooled children K-12. The children and their families in our Valley are a tightly woven community supporting one another through shared resources and activities. Beaver Valley Elementary School is located in a highly visible and accessible area that borders the Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue Plain Station. This will be the first ‘Little Free Library’ in Plain and the excitement shared amongst the children has fueled their sense of empowerment with the responsibility of maintaining the library and being a part of such a wonderful program.”

Grantees Announced May 2020

Allyson Palaschuk | Made by Momma | Calgary, Alberta, Canada

“Made by Momma is a community Resource Centre that thousands of mothers with young children come to each year…. Our hope is to make sure access to books and reading for toddlers, kids, youth and adults is not a luxury. Having a Little Free Library means access for ALL!”

Alura Gilliland | The Dalles, Oregon

“I live on the east end of The Dalles, Oregon, which is a town of about 15,000 people. There are limited activities for kids here in general, but the town is also shaped like a banana so children living on the east or west end of town have limited access to the parks and the library. I also live next to a women’s shelter that constantly has children cycling through every 6 months or so. There are also many middle school aged children within the neighborhood, and I would like to offer them accessibility to reading materials. I am a nurse working in surgery and I was inspired by my 9-year-old stepson’s love of reading. I want to provide accessibility to books for the kids in my local community.”

Amanda Sisk | Greenville, South Carolina

“The Nicholtown community is a home to very diverse group with a large majority of families being of low economic means. Low-income housing and apartments are located on my street and my house is positioned right In front of the school bus stop that serves this section of the community. I see so many children on a daily basis walking down my street and as a teacher I want to provide these children with the excitement and inspiration that a Little Free Library can provide. I know this may be one of the only resources outside of their schools to grow their potential love for books and reading.”

Angela Kelly | William F. Murphy Elementary School | Woodridge, Illinois

Murphy Elementary is a caring community that serves over 400 children within its walls. It is a Title I school that also houses K-2 bilingual students. Its children range in age from 5 to 12 and have a wide assortment of interests, desires and dreams. They are active users of our school library but always want more. During this time of COVID-19, we feel that a Little Free Library is especially in need. Our school library can only do so much to provide books to our users and right now it is sadly closed. If we had a LFL on our grounds, kids would have another option to get books whenever they needed to. Not just when school was in session. The LFL would also provide them with a sense of ownership for not only would they be users but also contributors by being encouraged to add as well as take books from the library. I truly feel it would make the Murphy Way (be respectful, be responsible, be safe) be further extended to the greater community. It will bring students and the community together out of service through one book at a time.”

April Taylor | Reading with Erma | Ft. Meade, Florida

“I have a 501c3 that works with children in Title 1 schools. Recently I have built five libraries and installed two more that were donated. The two donated were placed in migrant farm areas to serve roughly 215 children. I would like to install one in the Ft. Meade migrant farm area that is underserved by their community. I personally go out to these communities twice a week and read individually with children there. I also bring snacks and crafts. I know the children would love the opportunity to have books available as their parents do not have transportation. If I could have plaques for the other two that would be wonderful! Then these migrant farm children could feel like they are part of something special.”

Ashlee Swanson | Alto Park Elementary School | Rome, Georgia

“The community that would be served with this would be students that attend Alto Park Elementary School here in Rome. We are a PreK-5th grade school that fluctuates between 450-500 students. Thirty percent of our student population are English-language learners who are effectively living in book deserts at home. We are a Title I school with large numbers of our students living in poverty. Many students live in homes where the parents don’t even have transportation so driving the distance to the public library isn’t possible. Some of the only ways that they access books are through the school library program. Regardless of their lack of access, my students still love reading and love books. My hope is to build this Little Free Library so that community members, other teachers, and myself can share books with our students and their families. The importance of parents reading at home with their child cannot be understated and we must do everything we can to ensure our students have some kind of access to books when they are not at school. This Little Free Library would do that for children at our school but it would also benefit the larger community as well.”

Carol Heisler | Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club | Crystal Lake, Illinois

“This community has two elementary schools—Canterbury and Coventry—and both schools have a student population where over 50% of the kids qualify for free or reduced lunch. During the summer, the local food bank sponsors a free lunch program for children under 18 years in Ladd Park where we would plant this Little Free Library if we “win” the grant. Because this is an area of modest homes, condos and apartments, we would also strive to stock the library with foreign books especially Spanish. The park is in a residential area close to the two schools and several churches. Although the public library is 1 1/2 miles away, patrons need to cross some very busy and dangerous main roadways which make it difficult for biking and walking families. The Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club has been servicing 6 other library boxes in our area—3 in partnership with the Park District who have already agreed on this location. They also sink the post in concrete for us and locate the library next to a handy bench. We feel that this park is a natural and has sufficient traffic due to its location and the food program.”

Dana Mallory | Ozarks Literacy Council | Springfield, Missouri

“I’m the board president of Ozarks Literacy Council in Springfield, Missouri. Our organization has provided free literacy classes for 51 years! We serve low income people and families with 125 volunteer tutors matched with those that cannot read or read well. Volunteers also read to 39 area preschool classes 4 x annually and give each child a free book. Often it is their first book with no others in their home! We have given children over 4,000 books in 2019 and a little library would support our mission. We are a nonprofit organization with the mission of raising awareness and promoting literacy through free services to adults and children; children are over 75% of our learner base. Our children in the community would greatly benefit from the gift of free books. Literacy is life!”

Darla Kennedy | Meigs Local Schools | Middleport, Ohio

“Our community is a rural, Appalachian county in southeastern Ohio. Our K-5 school serves approximately 700 students. We are an impoverished county, and many of our children have very limited books within their homes. The children in grades K-2 are allowed to take books home during the summer and return them in the fall (this is part of our summer reading program in grades K-2). Our local library is in another town and many of our children live more than 10 miles from the library. If we had a free library box located on our school grounds, this would enable families living close to our school to have additional resources during the summer months.”

Duane Yazzie | Shondeen Estates Resident Organization | Rock Springs, New Mexico

“Shondeen Estates is a housing complex of the Navajo Housing Authority located in the small community of Rock Springs, New Mexico, which has both home ownership and public rental units for approximately 65 families. Our nearest public library is located in the City of Gallup, New Mexico, which is approximately 12 miles away. Students also have access to school libraries provided through the Gallup-McKinley County School system. The students in this housing complex are predominantly of Native American descent and range from PreK to college and would greatly benefit from a neighborhood-based lending library, especially since there isn’t even a local playground, accessible libraries, or mobile library services. They will be positively impacted by having direct and more convenient access to a range of reading materials, which is negatively influenced by high unemployment rates, limited internet accessibility, and limited reliable transportation among other poor socioeconomic conditions. The primary steward has a library science background with a specific focus on children’s and YA literature to help serve younger readers.”

Emily Hicklen | Toney, Alabama

“I am certain that a Little Free Library would revolutionize my low-income, rural, community by filling the gap in accessible education and providing positive educational reinforcement. With this lack of accessibility, residents who are focused on providing necessities for themselves and their families and cannot afford to purchase books are left without. I am passionate about equitable education and this would take me one step closer to fulfilling my goal of ensuring all members of my community are getting the best educational opportunities they can. I would place the library adjacent to the elementary school I went to as a child, as a symbol of gratitude to the community that has supported me both personally and educationally. By placing the library in this central location—which is surrounded by a community center, free clinic, and food pantry, all of which are resources structured for low-income individuals—it allows all members of the community to be positively impacted by the joy of reading. I feel that the library would be well served and gratefully received by every member of the community.”

Erin Chaffe | Communicare Health Centers Kyle | Kyle, Texas

“I am a pediatrician at a federally qualified health center serving mostly low income and undocumented families. Our families are generally Spanish speaking with many working to learn English as a second language. Many of the parents cannot read or write in English or Spanish and are unable to help their children much with their schoolwork. I have been attempting to start a library there for the past few months (currently derailed by COVID-19) but am would love to continue working towards one, as I feel that even though we would focus on the children, my hope is that the ability to read would be passed on to the parents as well. A library would also be helpful for those who wish to learn English.”

Savona Bailey-McClain | New York, New York

“My neighborhood has been in transition for the last ten years. It used to be a drug-infested area. There was a lot of violence. Slowly, our street has changed. There’s a triangle green street in the middle of the road with flowers, shrubs, and a pine tree. I take care of four tree pits where I have created small gardens. We have a coffee shop and juice bar now. Our street has a domestic violence shelter for families, a homeless shelter, and a male transitional shelter. My building has a mixed population—low income, elderly, and mentally challenged. Across the street is a public school. We have worked to calm the street down. The library would help the children feel more empowered by getting a book on their own. The teens don’t want to admit it but still need grownups to take care of them. I would watch over the library everyday and get others to donate. The kids would love it.”

Jackie Carson | Gaylord, Michigan

“Otsego Memorial Hospital would be a wonderful location for a Little Free Library. Otsego County Is a rural and mostly low income community. Children coming for doctor appointments or visiting family who are hospitalized would greatly benefit from access to books and give them something to do while they wait. I believe our community hospital would be the perfect location for a Little Free Library.”

Heather Smurr | Ingram Elementary School | Ingram, Texas

“I teach at a small rural Title 1 school in the Texas hill country. Our community does not have a public library. Our families largely live in poverty, with over 80% of our students in low socioeconomic households. Our entire school population receives free breakfast, lunch, and summer meals. Because feeding their families is the primary concern of most of our population, purchasing books isn’t something that most can afford. The Little Free Library would offer our community access to a continuously changing array of literature to bring learning and adventure to the houses of those who need it most.”

Jamie Clark | Levant Corner Store | Levant, Maine

“We are the community hub for seven surrounding towns and sole grocery, gas, and restaurant for miles. Our local public library closed a few years back. We have been working with the local principal to provide food, internet services, and support to families in need during this time. She also suggested we apply for this Little Free Library to better support our community and kids during COVID when the school library is also closed. We would love to receive one and continue the tradition for years to come.”

Jeanne Alves | Coventry, Rhode Island

“I have started Little Free Library laundromat boxes. I began in neighboring West Warwick, Rhode Island, and my next location is Coventry, Rhode Island. So many young children are dragged to the laundromats. Laundromats often serve families residing in tenement housing lacking resources. Both Coventry and moreso West Warwick are economically challenged family neighborhoods. A real Little Free Library box would be a welcome addition to any laundromat, especially during this COVID-19 crisis; having a box fixed outside would be preferable to bringing replacement books inside the laundromat. I gather replacement books during the month and refill once a month. This will be my second laundromat book box location. I feel the hoopla of being awarded this Little Free Library gift would increase book donations and possibly ignite more passion to promote easy access reading sources in Rhode Island.”

Joshua Sterner | Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania

“[This is a] mixed-income area in the Pocono Mountains, formerly a vacation area. [There has been a] surge of population (35k in just one of the many small communities just in my township) with NO stores within 45 minutes. Many lower-income families close (many not). I run an online comic-book store as a side business so have a lot of graphic trade paperback novels and regular books to keep [the library] stocked regularly. Also very active in the DAV, VFW and MCVA (father is the district commander of VFW and state commander of DAV) as a service disabled veteran. This area needs [a Little Free Library] badly. Closest one is in Jim Thorpe, and many of the other Little Free Libraries are closed around here right now with the virus. If you want [to] make a difference somewhere it’s desperately needed, then here is the place.”

Kaeli Mercado | Kansas City, Missouri

“My name is Kaeli Mercado and I am a homeless woman from Kansas City, Missouri. I would like to start off by sending thanks to all those who have made the Little Free Library possible. Enduring the hardships of being homeless can really take a toll on your spirits. The Little Free Library always takes me away from what can sometimes be a harsh reality. The Little Free Library has been my friend and also my security and my refuge. In my neighborhood there are many people experiencing extreme poverty. My neighborhood is a melting pot for several different cultures. People experiencing extreme poverty suffer on so many levels. Violence in the community is a regular occurrence. In order to change country we live in we must empower the young mind. I believe that if you can read you can teach yourself anything, therefore you can do anything. The location in which I’d like to place a Little Free Library is a place that serves the homeless, helping with showers and a hot meal. Many people that go to Charis Brooks have children, and what a beautiful way to encourage a relationship.”

Kalpana Saxena | Santosha 'Kula' | New Orleans, Louisiana

“This library will be located on a refurbished school bus that already serves homeless populations in the underpass below I-10. Two or three times a week, we park there and provide much-needed services as well as coffee, food, and cell phone charging stations. In the future, we hope to provide access to computers and internet, and yoga and skills for living. I have been bringing books for the people in boxes. It would be great if we could have a Little Free Library that could be wheeled in and out of the bus. The population we serve is deeply appreciative of the books I bring for them from my own Little Free Library #1776. Though I haven’t seen too many children around (which is good) I know that the adults love reading. Thank you for your help.”

Kellie Frederick | Cottonwood Lamppost Neighborhood | Richardson, Texas

“[This is a] neighborhood with several children and high community involvement. With the COVID-19 crisis, it’s even more important to maintain community involvement and awareness. We plan to use the library box not only for books, but canned goods and communication. We live on the corner of two streets, Cottonwood and Lamppost, On the same street as Cottonwood Park, a park with a special needs playground. We are local business owners, exploring and implementing ways to contribute to and protect our neighborhood and community family. In the past few years, several families with young children have moved into our neighborhood. This library box would be a magical addition to our neighborhood.”

Lisa Querijero | Books For Kids | Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Books for Kids will keep the library fully stocked with kids and YA books. We are a grassroots organization that gets books from those who have too many to those who don’t have any. I often have schools and teachers giving me their overflow, and now I have a basement full of books! Our neighborhood is full of kids who need this, and it’s been my dream to have a Little Free Library and decorate it with dragons, my kids’ favorite (Wings of Fire fans!!). Kids need books, and studies show that when books are in the homes and hands of kids, they become more literate and better readers. Thank you for this chance. Books for Kids has donated over 10,000 books to the Philippines, Detroit, Inkster, and Flint. We are currently making literacy packs to give out at food pick-up locations at schools while they are closed. The Little Free Library would be an amazing addition to our organization. KIDS NEED BOOKS!”

Melissa B. | Grand Portage, Minnesota

“We live on a rural Indian reservation in Northern Minnesota. It is 30 miles to a library (which is currently closed). Then next closest is Duluth (120 miles away). Literacy issues are big up here and we would like to encourage local kids who can’t afford to order books the chance to read. My goal is to put two on the reservation eventually. I am a stay-at-home mom with a background in Library Science and have started tutoring programs for the kids up on the res. This would be a HUGE asset to our small community.”

Ngoc-Tran Vu | Boston, Massachusetts

“I live in a working-class community of Dorchester, Boston’s largest and most diverse neighborhood. In fact, my home is very close to an elementary school with surrounding young people and elders of color. I believe having a Little Free Library would serve many school-aged children and young people in my neighborhood and community well, because it will showcase books and stories by and for people with narratives of struggles and resiliency. There are many children and young adults who are very interested in having a book club and swapping books with one another. There are also many immigrants and refugee families and I would share books in various languages that are accessible and inclusive. Languages such as Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese. In addition, as an interdisciplinary artist and organizer who works from home, I am very interested in organizing and hosting events surrounding stories and storytelling that serves an intergenerational audience on the power and importance of books. I have been a big fan of the critical work and vibrant community of Little Free Library, and I would love the opportunity to bring it to my working-class neighborhood and to share resources for my neighbors.”

Sally Van Cura | Habitat for Humanity of LaSalle, Bureau & Putnam Counties | Ottawa, Illinois

“We are the local Habitat for Humanity, and we are currently building our home at this site. The Little Free Library will be a great addition to this location. The build site is getting a constant flow of volunteers, donors, and media coverage as the build continues. The site is located across the street of a park and McKinley Elementary School, Ottawa so it will continue to impact our community. We have the double lot and there will always be a place for the Little Free Library. This placement will be a great impact for our community. We believe in housing and what it means to the development of our children.”

What an amazing group of Little Free Library grantees! Thank you to all of our stewards and friends who help support our mission to increase book access for all. If you’d like to help us grant more little libraries to communities like these, please consider making a donation today.

 

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