You’ve probably seen a few around the city, looking like oversized mailboxes or birdhouses and packed with books for the sharing.
Now two “Little Free Libraries” have arrived at UWM, thanks to a collaboration between the UWM Libraries; the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CCBLLR); the Architecture Department; and Physical Plant Services.
Little Free Libraries (LFL) are meant to promote reading and literacy, as well as a sense of community. Books are free and users are encouraged to contribute their own.
The impetus for campus LFL came from a UWM Libraries staff member who had placed one last year in front of her home. Several other staff took up the idea and joined with CCBLLR.
A competition to design the libraries was held among Architecture Professor Mark Keane’s students. The winners, Trevor Koehler and Peter Hiller, each received a $500 stipend from the Libraries, and the cost of materials for construction from CCBLLR.
Hiller’s structure, with its playful building-block design, was placed in front of the UWM Children’s Center and moved with them when they relocate to the Northwest Quadrant.
Koehler’s attractively banded and UWM-branded box is set near the bus stop in front of the Union on Kenwood.
The libraries were installed on August 6, and a ceremony will be held to mark their official opening on August 28 in front of the Children’s Center.