Student voices: The Small Free Library project

During the fall of 2014, tenth graders at the Workshop School are researching, designing, building, and installing Small Free Libraries (SFL) across the West Philadelphia community.  With the help of three partners — the 52nd Street Development Corporation, the University City District, and Bartram’s Garden — we hope to have fifteen of these boxes this fall.   Each group developed a proposal for their particular location that described the purpose, the intention of the design, the books to be included, and multiple drafts of their blueprints.   From those unfamiliar with the idea of a Small Free Library, here’s how one group described it in their proposal:

By Payten Robinson, Diamond Scott, India Driver, and Jinay Frazier

The Workshop School is working on a way to build something to change the community. We are young learners ready to make a difference. One of the ways in which we plan to do so is by building Small Free Libraries (SFL). We are coming together as a group to design and build miniature libraries all across our neighborhood. We want to inform the community that there are people who care, there are people that want to make a difference, and there are people who can. Young people like us! The SFL project is one of our main projects this quarter.

There a many purposes to SFLs. Most important is to give everyone the chance to read. Not enough people read. Not all kids have books and not all kids are in school right now, so another purpose is to give kids who are not in school the chance to read and learn. We hope the cool structures we are building to house the SFLS will attract people that don’t like reading and influence them to pick up a book and read it, and not just walk past it.

It also helps the community by bringing people together through sharing. We believe that all generations will be giving books to each other. New books will help generations connect in a positive way and to build friendships.  The Small Free Libraries improve the appearance of the community at the same time they make life better for people.  Even better, it’sa good resource and it’s free.

We are really looking forward to being able to wake up one day and see how we bettered our community by giving the people of our community a way to gain more knowledge and share it with one another.

Want to help us? Book donations for all ages are greatly appreciated.