Five gorgeous Little Free Library book-sharing boxes have popped up in public parks around New Rochelle, New York. The goal of these Libraries is not only to promote reading and build a sense of community, but also to showcase unique public art.

The project started when long-time friends Colleen Davis Gardephe and Theresa Kump Leghorn got inspired by the work of the Little Free Library organization. Gardephe is the managing director of My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle, an organization dedicated to helping local youth succeed, and Leghorn is the president of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. With the support of the New Rochelle Public Library and Department of Parks and Recreation, they got funding and purchased six Little Free Library book-sharing boxes from our online store.

new rochelle little library project

Pictured left to right: William Zimmerman, Director of New Rochelle’s Dept. of Parks & Recreation, City Council Member Jared Rice, artist Charles Fazzino, Colleen Davis Gardephe of My Brother’s Keeper New Ro, Theresa Kump Leghorn of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, Barbara Davis of the New Rochelle Public Library and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

Next, they invited local artists to submit proposals detailing how they would customize one of the Little Libraries. Six artists were chosen, including internationally acclaimed artist Charles Fazzino, to transform a book-sharing box into a work of art. The results are pretty amazing. See all five artist-embellished Libraries.

laura heiss little library

Image credit: @n.r.p.l on Instagram

Artist Laura Heiss designed her Little Library as a tribute to her sheep dog, Rosie. Heiss says that the “milk and bone meteor shower” and “raining dog biscuits” are frequent themes in her work. Her Library was appropriately installed at Paws Place, a local dog park.

cristina cerone little library

Image credit: @n.r.p.l on Instagram

Artist Cristina Cerone modeled her Little Library after Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry in Harry Potter. She even put the Hogwarts crest on the inside floor of the Library! Art teacher Carol Bowen created a beautiful mosaic on her Library, inspired by Gustav Klimt’s work, “The Tree of Life,” and artist Stephanie Lombardo drew inspiration from the beloved children’s book Goodnight Moon. Charles Fazzino created an eye-catching installation using two Little Free Library book-sharing boxes. Unlike the other Libraries that were placed in parks, his will be installed at a local hospital.

charles fazzino library installation

Artist Charles Fazzino poses with his Library installation, which includes a seating area. Photo Credit: Julie Maner

Gardephe and Leghorn hope to bring more creative Little Free Libraries to New Rochelle in the future. “We imagine that local businesses, schools, and houses of worship will want to get on board and have their own pop-up [Libraries]!” says Gardephe.

Looking for more? See how the city of Brantford, Ontario, is using Little Libraries to encourage an appreciation of public art, or check out 13 Little Libraries transformed by Detroit artist.

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