An update on Scholastic Book Fairs Representative Anji Ison’s neighborhood book exchange station.
Last summer we featured Scholastic Book Fairs Representative Anji Ison and the Little Free Library she started in her neighborhood. You can read the original story here.
With summer reading around the corner, we wanted to check in with Anji about her neighborhood’s little free library. We’re so happy to report: IT’S THRIVING!
The neighborhood fully embraced their little free library and Anji is so excited that it’s helped build connections throughout her community. The library remains in the upcycled grill she and her daughter put together (with a little design refresh!), but the book selection has grown exponentially. So much so that Anji changes out the book selection daily and doesn’t have to use the same selection for at least three weeks. “Yes, we have that many books that we can do that!” she said.
Anji and her daughter use their neighborhood Facebook Page to give updates on new donations, available books, and more. “We’ve even asked other families do little book talks of the books they’ve donated,” said Anji. “The community has really rallied together to support our Walden readers.”
A group of children in the neighborhood are even working on starting their own book club.
Anji told us that one of the neighborhood kids posted in the group asking for more graphic novels and two days later, she had two boxes of graphic novels on her porch!
And that’s not the only donation—retired teachers, reading specialists, nurses, therapists, students…so many of the neighbors have shown up at Anji’s door with boxes of books and gratitude to her family for bringing the little free library to their neighborhood. Even as Anji was sharing her little free library update with us, the doorbell rang and she found more boxes of books on the front porch.
“One day I left for the post office and there was a line of minivans at the little library taking their turns to change out their books. It’s always fun seeing it in action,” she shared.
Several people from other neighborhoods heard about Anji’s success and approached her for advice on starting their own little libraries. Most have decided to use the Little Free Library kit that mounts in the ground. Anji thinks she’ll pursue this idea someday, but for now she enjoys changing out the selection daily and wheeling the Little Free Library out to the curb, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to dusk.
“I’ve been called the Library lady, which makes me smile,” Anji said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”
We’re finding an item to upcycle and grabbing books to start our own Little Free Library in our neighborhoods starting… now!
By Chelsea Bennett