Install Little Free Library boxes around DC Metro Region!
Install Little Free Library boxes around DC Metro Region!
Building creative Little Free Library boxes to put all around the D.C. Region, one at a time. Two are done, one nearly, dozens to come!
Building creative Little Free Library boxes to put all around the D.C. Region, one at a time. Two are done, one nearly, dozens to come! Read more
The Project: Bringing More Little Free Libraries to DC!
Phase one: Building, decorating, and installing ONE DOZEN Little Free Libraries in the Takoma, DC Historic District, and Takoma Park, MD.
Phase two PUSH: Spreading the concept throughout the DC Metro Region by installing additional Libraries in MD, DC and VA as funding permits.
[9.2.13 update:] I attempted to fund this project through KickStarter, and although the response was wonderful, with over $2000 in pledges made up until I write this note to you, the project appears that it will have ultimately failed to fund at the level I first attempted. KickStarter operates on a 'all-or-nothing' basis, meaning if one does not reach an initial goal, then zero funding is accomplished.
**But I am not giving up.** I still want to put up at least one dozen Little Free Libraries. This time, I am scaling back the plan to the basics, [see revised estimates below] eliminating the seating benches and the landscaping, and using GoFundMe, where there are no such 'all-or-nothing' restrictions. Whatever is raised through GoFundMe is released to be used right away to fund this project you have supported. Would you consider re-pledging for the project? Go to:
Costs: All told, I estimate $400 will be needed for each Little Free Library site. Thus, my goal is $400 x 12, for the first twelve Little Free Libraries, which comes to $4800. In addition to that, however, I must take into consideration the 10% fees deducted by both GoFundMe Payments system, which handles your contributions. Those fees will come to an estimated $480, which, added to the $4800 makes the final goal a total of $5280. Additional funds above that amount will allow me to build more Little Free Libraries beyond the first 12, and keep the expansion going for as long as funds become available. There will also be annual maintenance costs for each location, but I am confident I can clear that hurdle in other ways, through in-kind community help & support. Here is how the revised costs break down for each location, in my estimates: $100 - basic materials for the library box $40 4x4 pressure treated posts and concrete for each site $40 artistic design elements, decorative salvaged pieces and paint. $160 initial supply of 40 books to fill each library [$4 each, for very good condition, used books] $25 a supply of several hundred personalized bookmarks for each location. $35 - registration for each site at the non-profit littlefreelibrary.org Total $400 per site
How this idea began: In 2010, my girlfriend, Jennifer, a native of Madison, WI, told me about a literary project begun by another Wisconsin native, Todd Bol. From there, the seed was planted as the idea took root and grew in my head over the coming year. When we moved into our new home in Mid-2011 on Aspen St, NW, in the Historic District of DC, I told her I wanted to install a Little Free Library in our front yard as a gift to the community and neighborhood we had adopted and grown to love.
That dream was realized on April 23, 2013, in conjunction with World Book Night day, another literary project I am involved with. http://www.walkscore.com/place/takoma-little-free-library-5646-washington-d-c The Little Free Library became an instant hit, with dozens of people stopping by every day while out walking their dogs, or walking towards or from work or the metro subway station nearby, or walking with their kids, pushing strollers with their babies, riding their bikes, or driving by and stopping suddenly in the road when they spotted the odd structure in our yard. We were delighted with the response, seeing so many people using the library, both in the taking of books, and in leaving other books for others to take.
So many positive comments and good vibes came, and I decided I wanted to spread this feeling onto other streets and neighborhoods in the Historic District of Takoma, DC, and in Takoma Park, MD just over the state line. I have since then completed a second Little Free Library, and it was installed by the new owner at the front of his house on 8th & Elder Streets, NW a few weeks ago. http://www.walkscore.com/place/8th-elder-st-nw-washington-dc-washington-d-c
A third Little Free Library is under construction in my basement workshop and will soon be installed on a grassy corner lot just across the street from a newly renovated elementary school and a historic old church building.
In addition to these libraries, I have committed to building *at least* one dozen more!
One for another home at the gateway into Takoma Park, located at the corner of Fenton and Philadelphia, and still another will be built and installed outside of the very first Andrew Carnegie sponsored Public Library in the District of Columbia, built in 1911 at the corner of 5th and Cedar in the Historic District! [That one is in partnership with the Friends of the Library group of Takoma, DC.]
And then there is the biggest project I’ve committed to yet, ...building and installing T-E-N Little Free Libraries in partnership with the Friends of the Library of Takoma Park, MD!! These libraries will be installed in public locations [where permissions are granted by authorities] throughout the Takoma Park, MD area.
But.... what if.....?
When I posted pictures of my first LFL on my Facebook back in April, a friend asked me “But…won’t someone steal all the books?!" My response was ’something that is free cannot be stolen.’
However, vandalized structures are a possibility. Perhaps even a car accident. I do not worry about these sorts of things, though, because I believe that communities grow attached to their libraries, and they will rally to repair or rebuild them. And if they do not, well, then, I will.
The need: This is where YOU, the Kickstarter community, come in. I built the first three Little Free Libraries using whatever materials I could scrounge, or was given, or that I already had on hand in my ‘hey! someday I’ll use this!’ material hoard, umm, I mean… collection. In fact, the 1st one I built, that is at our home, was created out of wood salvaged and hacked from an old Ikea TV cabinet! For the one dozen Little Free Libraries to be built and installed that I’ve described above, I will need to secure recycled materials from salvage yards like the nearby Community Forklift, http://www.communityforklift.com/ which has a wonderful ever-changing collection of materials available for reuse in homes and artistic projects. I will also need to buy materials to build benches for sitting next to the libraries, posts and concrete for securing the libraries and benches to the earth, decorative elements and paint to make each library unique and colorful and beautiful. Landscaping must be done around each structure, to fit the structures to their sites in a pleasing way.
[THIS IS THE OLD ESTIMATE. SEE REVISED ESTIMATE AT TOP OF PAGE!] All told, I estimate a minimum of $535 to a maximum of $610 will be needed for each Little Free Library site. Averaging those estimates, I come to a round figure of $573 would be needed per site. Thus, my Kickstarter goal is $573 x 12, for the twelve Little Free Libraries I am already committed to, which comes to $6876.
In addition to that, however, I must take into consideration the fees deducted by both Kickstarter and Amazon Payments system, which handles your contributions. Those fees will come to an estimated $688, which, added to the $6876 makes the final goal a total of $7564.
Anything above this amount raised through Kickstarter will be used to drive the beginning of the later phase two PUSH expansion into more areas of DC, MD and VA. There will also be annual maintenance costs for each location, but I am confident I can clear that hurdle in other ways, through in-kind community help & support. Here is how the costs break down for each location, in my estimates:
$75-100 - basic materials for the library box
$100-125 - materials for benches
$40 4x4 pressure treated posts and concrete for each site
$100-125 artistic design elements, salvaged pieces, plants & landscape needs, and paint.
$160 [approx.] initial supply of 40 books to fill each library [$4 each, for very good condition, used books]
$25 a supply of several hundred personalized bookmarks for each location.
$35 - registration for each site at the non-profit littlefreelibrary.org
Total $535-$610 ]
]Note to Authors / Book Donors: Sometimes I am asked by authors if I could distribute copies of their books to Little Free Library patrons. I am more than happy to do this for you, provided you supply the books in whatever quantity you desire to contribute. Likewise, some people have asked if they could send or drop off books for me to use in the Libraries. Again, the answer is yes, gladly. Donations may be mailed [use media mail rate for cheapest cost] or dropped off at:
Takoma Little Free Library Project
408 Aspen St NW
Washington, DC 20012
Neighbors in Takoma, DC & Takoma Park, MD: Once constructed and installed, Your involvement in the project is essential to its success. Leave a book. Take a book. When done with it, return the book you took so someone else can enjoy it, and take another one! Post a picture of your Little Free Library visit on your Facebook page and on mine. Let me know if a collection is running low and needs a refill or if the structure is being misused or needs maintenance. This project not only promotes literacy but the shared spirit of community. Meet your neighbors. Start a conversation.
More about how the original Little Free Library came into being: The Little Free Library project began in 2009 when Todd Bol built a small structure and filled it with books in honor of his late mother, who was a school teacher and an avid reader. He placed the structure on his front lawn with a sign encouraging visitors to "Take a Book. Leave a Book." The spirit of the project, which aims to promote literacy and community, spread very quickly and today there are an estimated 10,000 libraries nationally and even internationally.
How Donations Work: Make a pledge of any amount and when prompted, enter your billing information. Your card will not be charged unless the project reaches the $7564 goal within the 14-day window I have set.
Risks and challenges
If at any point I feel overwhelmed with the number of Libraries I've committed to building, I will enlist help from neighborhood handymen and ladies and we will get them done. I already have the commitment and help from a landscaping company that will professionally install all the structure posts and concrete. I know others in the neighborhood who are handy and would help as needed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (14 days)