Little Free Libraries
Getting a good book should always be within reach. Because of this, Reading Heart and Every Neighborhood Partnership (ENP) has committed to installing 150,000 free books throughout Fresno County in Little Free Libraries.
We need artists, families, volunteers and sponsors that want to help support a community arts and literacy movement. Reading Heart and Every Neighborhood Partnership (ENP) were gifted with over 173 Fresno Bee Newspaper Boxes. With your help, we want to beautify these boxes, install them around the Central Valley and fill them with free books. If you are interested in helping be a part of this project, sign up, call or email.
Together we can ensure that all kids have an opportunity to read and succeed!
We are looking for friends who would like to do one or more of the following
Give Towards a Library
Your donation helps supply materials such as building supplies and logistics in keeping the boxes stocked with free books (gas, maintenance, etc.)
Paint/Restore a box
If you like art or have fix-it skills, we need your help to decorate and enhance boxes. Boxes will be art installations as well as libraries to beautify our community.
If you have books that you know your neighbors would love as much as you do, share them with Reading Heart who will help keep these boxes filled.
Give a box a home
Little Free Libraries exist in many shapes & forms and operate on a "take a book, give a book" honor system. If you would like one at your home / business. Contact
Turning a Newspaper Vending Box into a Little Free Library
Basic time/materials needed:
- Newspaper or a large tarp to paint on
- (2) Cans Spray Primer
- (2-4) Color Spray Paint + Pimer
- (2-4) Cans Spray Clear Finish
- Sandpaper to scrape off dirt and dead paint
- Plan for a week worth of time
You can leave the coin box on the top of the unit in place, it is not required to be removed. If you want to add a custom roof, then you can take off the coin box by removing the four small nuts that hold it in place. Almost any kind of roof would work—pitched, shed or just flat. (Try to avoid a flat roof, so that water doesn’t puddle on top of the Library.) If you decide to create a custom roof as part of this project, you can use the same four bolts that you removed from the coin box to secure it. That’s how the roofs on most Libraries are attached! Please add several coats of a clear polyurethane top coat on the roofs to protect the wood and paint from the elements.Some of the units have a convenient metal prop on the left side of the door. If you lift the prop a half-inch or so, it will hold the door open.
How to Decorate your Library
Now let's go to work! You may want to let your kids/family in on the action. Be sure to use an exterior paint on the steel. THE FRESNO BEE LOGOS MUST BE FULLY COVERED (you do not have to remove the stickers). Lightly sand and wash the steel before you paint the box. That will remove the dead surface paint. You can use Liquid Nail to attach heavier items like wood cut-outs or signs to your Library. You will also want to mask the Plexiglas window (or remove it) before painting any part of the box, to avoid getting paint on the window.
Start with the Primer and get a good layer on to cover the Fresno Bee Logos (the Primer will allow the paint to stick to the Library better and will help make your colors pop). Let each layer of paint/Primer dry for at least 2 hours before adding another layer. After you finsihed your super creative design, please add at least 2 soild coats of Clear Finish (this will help your colors last longer and protect the Library from the outside elements.) Painting the inside of your Library is optional. It will likely be weather-proof even if the inside isn’t painted, but chipped paint looks bad, so you might want to give it another coat.Once done let the Library sit for 24hrs to let everything completely dry
Ways to Secure Your Library
Strong Cable Lock
- Security Steel Cable with Loops
- Strong Steel Padlock
Please use a strong steel cable or steel chain with a padlock to secure your Library. We recommend you wrap it around something like a tree or pole.Holes on back
Library with holes
Some libraries have two holes on the back. You can use these holes to rope the cable or chain through.
Please make sure you use a cable/chain that is thick enough to not easily be cut but thin enough to fit through the holes.
Please make sure your library is secure before advertising its location
For the last 5 weeks, volunteers from The Well Church and Peoples Church have been cleaning, sorting and packing books.
Getting Books Ready
Over 150,000 clean books will be ready to fill up the Little Free Libraries all over Fresno County so that kids will always have free books just around the corner!
Host A Library
Can you host a Little Free Library? We have 40+ painted Little Free Libraries ready to be placed in Rural Fresno County Communities. We are looking for hosts! Know anyone? Please fill out this form.
Youth Board Approved
The Little Free Libraries are starting to hit the streets. Some of the Youth Board wanted to test out the loading process. Soon kids all over Fresno County will have free books close by