3. Little Free Libraries (Book Exchanges)

Committee: Culture & Community Facilities

Cost: $16,250

Location: 13 locations - 1 in each Cambridge neighborhood

Short Description: Informal Book Exchanges are already popular in Cambridge on streets and at the Public Works yard. This project would install 13 Little Free Libraries to support literacy, community engagement, and fun throughout the streets of our city.

Long Description: Have you seen the cardboard box on the sidewalk with a FREE sign? Somehow books placed in those boxes find good homes. Imagine a drier and more kempt way to exchange your books. Enter Little Free Libraries, where you can take a book, leave a book, and share a book. Placing a well-designed, waterproof container in each of the neighborhoods of Cambridge will improve the friendliness of the streetscape or park and possibly lead to sharing and more interactions. Parks, community gardens, and dog parks could be prioritized as locations for the Little Free Libraries.

There are currently four Little Free Libraries on Cambridge streets and they are well used and loved by their neighbors. Each has a magically changing selection of books for all ages. The City’s Agenda for Children's Literacy Initiative receives many gently used books that they would like to contribute to fill the libraries along with what neighbors will leave. Cambridge has a reputation as one of the most well-read cities in the United States so there will be no shortage of books to exchange.


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  • Marina Leite
    commented 2016-02-03 13:57:30 -0500
    I loved this project. I’m curious about how will you make sure that those who take a book also share a book?