This post is part of Little Free Library’s Steward Spotlight series!
Adam Seelig, a technology education teacher at John G. Borden Middle School in Wallkill, New York, found a creative way to bring five Little Free Libraries to his small community: make it a summer school project for students!
“I love to make things and I have a passion for reading,” Adam said, “I first made a Little Free Library for the town’s historical society and it was a huge hit, so I decided to make some for the five school districts in the area.”
He started by making a Little Library for the nearest elementary school. He researched Little Free Library plans and created a traditional wooden box on a post. The design was popular, but he thought outside the box for his next Library. Inspired by a unique design for a stand-up Library from a New York Architectural firm, he decided to create a replica as his next project.
“I built that one for the high school as a project with my tech club students in our after-school program—and of course, it was a hit,” Adam shared, “This is a unique design where you actually stand up inside and your head is surrounded by circular book shelves! We also installed solar-powered lights, since there are always things going on at our high school and in the winter it gets dark early. Also, since there are users of all ages, this Library as four separate sections: teen, adult fiction, children’s books, and non-fiction.”
The next three Little Libraries were all built as part of a hands-on summer school program for middle schoolers, run by three teachers: Adam and his colleagues Ken Hall and Kevin Factor. The program focused on three subjects: english, math, and technology education. So how did it work?
Adam shared, “We broke students into three groups. Each one was tasked with designing a Little Library for a particular school in the district. The two groups assigned to elementary schools worked together and came up with a school bus design, while the middle school group came up with a barn design to reflect our rural community.
“Students had to handle every phase of design, from planning and materials to budgeting and final presentations. The math portion of the project involved material layout, estimates, and actual cost. For English work, students performed research (guided questions about Little Libraries and community), wrote proposals, and made presentations to parents, students, administrators, and school board members. The technology portion was the design process, selecting materials, and building the Libraries.”
The result? A whole lot of learning and five adorable Little Free Library book-sharing boxes installed at schools in the Wallkill area. Congratulations to Adam and his students for completing such a wonderful project! Learn how to start a Little Free Library, or read more stories in the steward spotlight series!