Whoever scripted this hated Belize almost as much as they hated Britain -- it's so sanctimonious, condescending, self-loathingly offensive you suspect it's dark comedy and start looking for Peter Serafinowicz to show up. But it's an old explainer for upper-crust military officers, apparently, a glove that certainly fits all the above. It's gone viral as an artifact of the 1980s, but by then Belize was independent, so it's probably older. The political backdrop: Belize was supposed to become independent in the 1960s, but Britain knew Guatemala would invade if they left, so things got very complicated. It's one of the funny little secrets of decolonization that Britain was responsible for Belize's defense well into the 1990s and never really left. Read the rest
People's Pantry Cincy in Cincinnati, Ohio commissioned artists to convert old newspaper boxes into miniature food pantries for neighborhood residents to donate or take food items.
“As a dietitian, I’ve always believed that no one should go hungry,” project designer Lisa Andrews said. “We have an abundance of food, yet so many people are suffering from food insecurity, especially in Cincinnati.”
From the Cincinnati Business Courier:
The organization is requesting non-perishable food items and toiletries that donors place in any of the boxes. Project goals are to reduce hunger, increase access to food and toiletries and encourage communities to “nourish their neighborhood.”
"Neighborhood mini-food pantries take bite out of hunger in Cincinnati" (Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)
Read the rest
We have little free libraries where I live in California but none as are half as cool as this one in Detroit, Michigan. Dan Zemke spotted an empty lot across the street from his house on Detroit's Warren Ave. and thought it needed something. He decided it would be the perfect spot for a life-size replica of a TARDIS that would double as a little library.
Unlike the fictional TARDIS, Zemke’s creation is not bigger on the inside, but does have room for around 140 books that he hopes people will circulate and replace as they trade them out. Where the original TARDIS has signs around the top saying, “Police Box,” this one has signs saying, “Take A Book, Leave A Book.” Other than that, it is a spitting image of the iconic BBC ship.
(One might argue that it IS bigger on the inside because of the knowledge within its books.)
Previously: Doctor Who-themed shed Read the rest
Residents of an awfully tony neighborhood in San Francisco, California can't keep their Little Free Library open. Of all the asshole things to do, some vandals keep destroying it!
The idea is to encourage neighborhood interaction, but the Little Free Library at Noe and 15th streets has become an exercise in frustration.
“It’s really just been one thing after another,” said Peter Kupfer, another resident. “It was vandalized. It was knocked down. Someone set fire to it. It was knocked apart and in pieces on the street. It was stolen completely, so a neighbor donated a cabinet, which we had painted and refinished.”
Last week, though, was the topper. The sponsors had bolted the Little Free Library to the sidewalk with metal braces.
“And they just ripped it out of the pavement,” Kupfer said.
(SF Chronicle) Read the rest
Brian K Vaughan's varied career in comics has had numerous and diverse hits like Saga
, the epically weird and sexy space-opera; Y: The Last Man
, an end-of-the-world story; now, with We Stand on Guard
, Vaughan dramatically ups his body count in a tale of an American resource war that's a lot closer to home than the invasion of Iraq.
Chris writes, "Indianapolis has just launched a great new series of art installations intended to promote both art and literacy." Read the rest
How the Little Free Library aims to establish and rebuild the relationship between police and the community
In Kansas, 9-year-old Spencer Collins has been told by authorities that he must stop sharing books with his neighbors, and close the little free library--honestly, it's just a bookshelf--in his yard. Its slogan was "take a book, leave a book," but city government is mostly about the taking.
Collins loves reading. He doesn't just dive into a book -- he swims through its pages.
"It's kind of like I'm in a whole other world and I like that," he said. "I like adventure stories because I'm in the adventure and it's fun."
When he tried to share his love for books, it started a surprisingly frustrating adventure.
"When we got home from vacation, there was a letter from the city of Leawood saying that it was in code violation and it needed to be down by the 19th or we would receive a citation," said Spencer's mother, Sarah Collins.
Leawood said the little house is an accessory structure. The city bans buildings that aren't attached to someone's home.
The family moved the little library to the garage, but Spencer Collins said he plans to take the issue up with City Hall.
"I would tell them why it's good for the community and why they should drop the law," he said. "I just want to talk to them about how good it is."
"Bookcase considered illegal accessory building" [KMBC-TV, HT: @lizohanesian] Read the rest
The Little Free Library is a project from Stereotank: a freestanding, inverted plastic tank that you stick your head into in order to browse the books that are sheltered from the elements. It's been installed in New York's Nolita.
The Architectural League of New York partnered with Pen World Voices Festival to bring Little Free Library to New York City. Ten designers were chosen to create one Little Free Library each in Downtown Manhattan. Stereotank was selected to design a Little Free Library at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School in Nolita. The design consisted in creating an 'inhabitable' Little Free Library, where users could immerse themselves and take the time to browse through books and borrow or exchange them. The structure is built out of an upside down plastic tank and a wooden frame. Perforations around the tank allow visitors to peek inside and preview the interior, which invites them to duck under and discover the book collection while still having a connection with the exterior. The installation is planned to be active until September 2013.
Little Free Library Read the rest
Library Lab posted about World Book Night applications a couple of months ago and it's coming up tomorrow. According their website, "World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany."
This is just a reminder to watch out for rogue book givers in your community. It's called World Book Night, but book giving happens all day on April 23. You might want to keep an eye on @wbnamerica or #WorldBookNight or #WBN2013 to follow the action.
I'm very excited to share my 20 copies of The Phantom Tollbooth via our neighborhood Little Free Library in Silver Lake. If you happen to be in LA, swing by and get one. It's a fantastic book. Read the rest
Avast, mateys! If you’re a literature lover and a seafaring type, you might be surprised to find that you can satisfy both your passions at a public library. With libraries and librarians across the country finding ways to be more embedded in their communities (hello, Radical Reference, Street Books, and Little Free Libraries!), Kitsap Regional Library is taking to the water.
Our county relies on Washington State Ferries for easy access to most of the area’s population centers, especially Seattle. (Yes, you may now be jealous that our daily commute often involves a leisurely sail across Puget Sound.) Because a large number of our residents are gathered on these boats each morning and evening – often passing the time with a good book - we realized this would be the perfect place to build some community around reading. Read the rest
I happened upon this mini-library in my neighborhood and am so impressed with the movement that Little Free Library has started that I am getting one together for our street. The concept is simple: put a charming box full of books in a public place, encourage people to share them and to contribute their own.
From their FAQ:
If this were just about providing free books on a shelf, the whole idea might disappear after a few months. There is something about the Little Library itself that people seem to know carries a lot more meaning. Maybe they know that this isn't just a matter of advertising or distributing products. The unique, personal touch seems to matter, as does the understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books. Leaving notes or bookmarks, having one-of-a-kind artwork on the Library or constantly re-stocking it with different and interesting books can make all the difference.
Little Free Library sells pre-made mini-libraries or will show you how to build your own.
Check out a couple of my favorites from around the country:
Here's a Google Map with many of the libraries on it. Support Little Free Library if you can! Read the rest