One of the best features of the Little Free Kidlit Library is the cool book cover roof. When the library opened in April of 2021, the roof was covered with 2 x 3 wood tiles that I had painted black and decoupaged with mini-versions of almost 100 covers of early reader, middle grade, and YA books. It was a lovely mix of some of my favorites, like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and One Crazy Summer, and new releases (as of 2021) such as From the Desk of Zoe Washington and The Bridge Home. I detailed this process in a blog post last year.
It's been a wonderful first year for my Little Free Kidlit Library (Charter #106458)! We opened to the world in April 2021 and it has definitely made an impact in the community.
Local patrons have connected with the mission of the library, to provide diverse books for children by BIPOC creators, and word is spreading about our presence. The library was featured in Publisher's Weekly and the local newspaper, the Boston Compass.
I supply many of the books myself, but I've been thankful for the support of neighbors and other book lovers to provide enough books, including donations purchased at Frugal Bookstore in Nubian Square. Recently, my library was selected for a Read in Color book bundle grant from Little Free Libraries National in partnership with 826 Boston and Candlewick Press.
One thing that hasn't gone as well, the integrity of the beautiful book cover shingled roof that grabbed the attention of so many. You might notice that the library in the picture above looks a little different than last year. Snow, rain, wind, and cold did not treat the decoupaged shingles kindly at all.
So, I'm looking forward to sharing a new process post on the roof that I installed last month. It is full of new book covers (including my own!) and is just as colorful as the original, but weatherproof and durable enough to hold up to New England winters (finger crossed!).
Look for that post soon!
Update (7/5/22): My book cover shingles sadly did not survive the New England winter. I've refinished my roof with weatherproof vinyl stickers and it looks amazing! Check back for a link to the NEW process post soon.
The pandemic has taken a lot from us and one of the ways I did self-care was to work on my Little Free Library project. I posted last year my reasons for wanting one and why I decided to make it focused on BIPOC authors and illustrators of children's literature. Now it is 2021 and the library is close to being ready! I wanted to give an update on the process I used to build this library.
Something I’ve wanted for a while was a Little Free Library. I've looked longingly at pictures of all kinds of Little Libraries on Pinterest. What I've noticed in many of those smiling pictures is something that mirrors the landscape of publishing. A lack of representation of Black and brown people. That is something I want to change.
Even before I knew what my actual library would look like, I started thinking about what I wanted in my theme and design. I LOVE the recent article about the Little Diverse Library in Arlington, MA and had always planned to have a diverse book theme with Kidlit, so my library will be in solidarity with that project.
I've already come up with some creative ideas! This will be a continuing blog series documenting the story of my Little Free Kidlit Library.