Hoover Public Library aims to expand accessibility to books through Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries are being installed at apartment complexes across the city

Little Free Libraries being installed at Hoover apartments

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - You may have seen the Little Free Libraries before. The small weatherproof boxes shaped like little houses sit on posts next to sidewalks across the country. Now, the Hoover Public Library is joining the movement, installing 15 of the little libraries across the city.

The goal, to make books accessible to those who may not have access to reliable transportation.

“There has always been a gap in transportation and people being able to get to us but during the pandemic its highlighted that and been very evident that we need to do more in our community to help and this one of the first steps for us to get more out in the community and bring the library beyond our four walls,” says Jeremy Davis. He is the Children’s Department Coordinator at Hoover Public Library. “What we envisioned for this project was that we would put Little free libraries in apartment complexes to get books into the hands of people who can’t come to the library.”

An anonymous donor kick started the project, supplying funding for 5 of the libraries. The library teamed up with Hoover Helps to add 10 more. All of the libraries will be installed at apartment complexes across the city, except for one.

Hoover Public Library aims to expand accessibility to books through Little Free Libraries
Hoover Public Library aims to expand accessibility to books through Little Free Libraries (Source: Shilo Groover, WBRC)

“One is at Aldridge Gardens, which is near three apartment complexes so it serves several at one time,” explains Davis.

Five of the libraries are already up and running and five more are being installed this week, thanks to some help from the city’s public works employees. The locations for the other five are still in the works.

The Hoover Public Library will stock the little libraries with free books, but the hope is that the community will donate books to the libraries as well.

“Our hope is that they will become self-sustaining that the community will support them, but if they don’t we are going to go back and put more books in them too,” explains Davis. “The focus is of course for kids, and people who are learning to read English, but the community gets to put what they want in there.”

If you want to donate books to the project, just call the Hoover Public Library at (205) 444-7800 and ask for Children’s Department.

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