October, 2017

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Free Book Boxes

Monday, October 16th, 2017

I am often looking for opportunities to get involved in positive community building work, and this year has been more a challenge than ever.

A project that I’m now spending a fair amount of time on is the Free Book Box project, sponsored by the Cochise County Library District. This was funded by a grant that I wrote and am now implementing. It involves putting 10 boxes around the more rural parts of the country where there aren’t public libraries to provide free books to people. (You may have heard of Little Free Libraries. This is similar except that our boxes are MUCH larger. Also we aren’t necessarily emphasizing returns or donations, though both are welcome.)

The books include adult as well as juvenile titles, in a variety of genres and in English and Spanish. The boxes are mostly outside and will all have 24/7 access.

One part of the project I’ve really enjoyed is working with community partners to host the boxes and with local artists to paint them.

It’s also been fun to procure the books. We’re getting them from a variety of sources, with some being donated and others being purchased. A great source for books has been various Friends of the Library groups, who operate used book stores.

Our first boxes are being installed this week. I’ll be interested to see what challenges and opportunities pop up along the way.

So far, this project has been very well received and a very positive experience. And it’s books — you can’t go wrong with that.