Stockton’s Little Free Libraries Project Grows Citywide

An effort first started in May by the Wilson Way Neighborhood Initiative to promote reading and access to books by creating Little Free Libraries in its neighborhoods has grown to become a citywide campaign.

Central United Methodist Church members, City Councilman Moses Zapien, and other community members, will be refurbishing 12 old newspaper vending machines into Little Free Libraries on Saturday, June 21, at 9:30 a.m. at Central United Methodist Church, located at 3700 Pacific Avenue, Stockton. The public is invited to participate.

District 4 Councilmember Moses Zapien

District 4 Councilmember Moses Zapien

Paint and supplies will be provided.

In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built the first mini library as a tribute to his mother, a former schoolteacher who loved reading. Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises and the two saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of goals for the common good. Now, there are over 15,000 Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and over 40 countries.

The aim of the project is to encourage reading by providing local neighborhoods with easy and free access to books. The Little Free Libraries will be installed in neighborhoods and commercial areas around Stockton, allowing residents to freely borrow and exchange books at their leisure. The goal is to create and install 100 such Little Free Libraries in low literacy areas throughout the city. The Record Newspaper donated the old newspaper vending machines.

Community-based organizations can get involved by donating books or adopting one of the Little Free Libraries. Donated books for the Libraries can be dropped off during Saturday’s event. Monetary contributions to support the Libraries can be made through the Library and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin.

For additional information on this project or how your organization can adopt a Little Free Library, contact Councilmember Moses Zapien at 209.937.8279 or email Moses.Zapien@stocktongov.com; Kandi Howe. Delta Health Care, khowe@deltahealthcare.org; or, Jerron Jordan, The First 50, jjordan@thefirst50.com

For More information on the Little Free Library movement visit http://www.littlefreelibrary.org

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