SP0166: Little Free Libraries

Status: COMPLETED April 2017 - April 2018

The Little Free Libraries Project aims to change how the McGill community thinks about printed books through the creation of several autonomous and sustainable wooden installations, known as the Little Free Libraries. The Little Free Libraries are designed for sharing books; all the printed materials put in these wooden boxes are donated or exchanged, as opposed to loaned in the tradition of a typical library. The goal is to entice communities to give, exchange, and take books with the aims of encouraging sustainable literacy practices, all the while developing a space for university students, faculty, and staff to revitalize and recycle printed books. 

Read the full project description

One sustainability-related issue across the McGill campus, no matter the faculty or department, is the overwhelming presence of leftover books throughout the university hallways and communal spaces. The weekly free book fair available for students outside the Redpath Library and the cardboard boxes filled with books in faculty hallways are notable examples of this phenomenon. 

In January 2016, the Little Free Library Initiative was introduced in Faculty of Education, as a means of addressing the leftover book problems, the first step to sustainable development. This project is proposed as an extension to other McGill departments and units. The first Little Free Library, piloted on the 1st floor of the Faculty of Education, proved useful and popular in the community. Supported by the SPF, the pilot project will be expanded to Leacock, Brown, Burnside, and Schulich School of Music.

The LFL project will foster dimensions of inclusivity and diversity, as it will call for the artistic contributions of our diverse student body from all faculties and special interst groups. The initiative will encourage students to be actors of change in the project. For example, they will be encouraged to design and paint a LFL theme on the boxes, to correspond with the goals of the Vision 2020 plan: sustainability, diversity, equity, education, and lifelong learning. 

Funds from the SPF will be used to compensate a Project Assistant, as well as purchase the Little Free Libraries. Resources from the SPF will also be used to purchase paint, tools, other supplies and a website domain.

View photos

     collage of three different perspectives on the Little free library box in Leacock


merika.ramundo [at] mcgill.ca (Merika Ramundo)

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