Friday, September 5, 2014

Two Kickstarters launching free mini-libraries in the area; help fund them!

This is pretty neat: two different folks have launched Kickstarters to build a Little Free Library, one in Columbia Heights at 11th and Kenyon (outside Tubman Elementary) and one in Petworth on Illinois Avenue NW just off Grant Circle.

The idea is to build a little box, put some books in there and people are free to check them out or put new ones in. Sounds like a cool idea and a way to get people reading more and build some community. The library boxes are for sale on this website.

The Petworth Kickstarter ends in 5 days and needs $230 our of $375 while the Columbia Heights one has 27 to go and needs $225 our of $500. I wrote to both organizers and they had all had nice things to say:

Swati in Petworth:
I lived on Capitol Hill previously and have seen a couple of the libraries there just by walking around. I thought it was a great idea - I love books and thought the idea of being able to pick one up while you are walking about in your own neighborhood was a great idea. We just purchased a house with a front yard, so this is the first time I've had the opportunity to put one up. The money is to purchase the library itself (after the Kickstarter campaign I've had someone from the neighborhood offer to help me build one; if that goes through, the money will go to materials). And any extra money will be used to purchase books for the library. I hope to have 2 shelves, one for children's books and one for adults. I'll probably fill the adult one with some fiction and non-fiction, but after that hoping that the community will actively participate and it will evolve into whatever everyone wants it to be. The purpose of the kickstarter campaign is not just to get monetary support but also to raise awareness, so community members will be aware of its location and hopefully enjoy the resource.
 Mike and Kate in Columbia Heights:
We first heard about the Little Free Library project online and read more about it on their website. We thought it would be a great thing to have in Columbia Heights as a way to build community and increase access to books, especially for young children since we live across from Tubman elementary school.

The money goes to the purchase of the library from the website ($300) and the other necessary materials for its installation. We're also planning to buy some starter books, although we would be grateful for donations -- especially books for children and teens.

The really terrific thing about this project is that it is what the community makes of it. It's take a book, leave a book. Our hope is that the community supports it and fills it with some great options. However, if the stock is dwindling, we're planning to supplement it as necessary.

It's wonderful that there is a similar project in Petworth. Hopefully more and more will pop up throughout our city.


Brooke said...

We have a LIttle Free Library in the community garden at Bruce Monroe Park! Earlier this year the Building Museum's design apprenticeship program for teens built Little Free Libraries for five community gardens around Columbia Heights and Shaw. All the libraries were designed, built, and installed by the teens with help from their mentors. Please visit ours and share books between the libraries! Bruce Monroe Park is bound by Georgia Ave, Irving, and Columbia. Stop by and visit!

Anonymous said...

I love the Bruce Monroe LFL! I've donated to, and taken from the library several times already in the past few months. It's great! It does need a little water-proofing, though. I think the ceiling may leak, and I had to remove and throw out a book that was very destroyed by rain water. I am happy to support more LFL and think they are a phenomenal addition to any neighborhood.