(ST. LOUIS, MO., August 26, 2015)… A unique partnership between St. Louis designers, police officers and gardeners from Gateway Greening is helping to provide free books to those who may not have access to a library, as part of the international “Little Free Library” movement.
Created in Wisconsin in 2009, the Little Free Library initiative was developed with the goal of promoting literacy and the love of reading through the building of free book exchanges worldwide. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books placed within a neighborhood. Community residents are encouraged to pick up books from the box to enjoy, and bring back books to share with others. Across the globe, there are currently 25,000 registered Little Free Libraries, with thousands more under creation.
Over the next few months, new Little Free Libraries will be popping up across the St. Louis area at Gateway Greening supported community and school gardens thanks to a collaboration between Gateway Greening, the St. Louis Metro Police Department and local architecture firm, SPACE Architecture + Design.
Earlier this year, SPACE Architecture + Design, hosted a “Little Free Library” design competition, which invited St. Louis designers to create innovative designs for Little Free Library book boxes and turn their ideas into actual display boxes. Numerous box designs were created and built as result of the competition, and will be placed at Gateway Greening gardens in locations where residents have limited access to books.
“The Little Free Libraries Project brings together aspects of growing community, building relationships, and spreading the love of reading,” said Mara Higdon, Assistant Director at Gateway Greening. “Gateway Greening is thrilled to be a part of this project highlighting the community development happening in and around Gateway Greening’s community garden projects throughout the City of St. Louis,”.
To help keep the libraries full, members of the St. Louis Metro Police Department will visit and restock them regularly, and use the visits as opportunities to engage with community members.
“The Little Free Libraries Project is a great opportunity for kids to make their first encounter with a police officer a positive and rewarding experience,” said St. louis Police Commissioner Sam Dotson. “We are extremely excited about partnering with Gateway Greening and local architects to provide books for our community’s most valuable assets, children. This project will enable us to work towards our goal of building stronger community partnerships.”
To learn more about the Little Free Libraries coming to St. Louis City, or for more information on Gateway Greening and its programs, visit www.gatewaygreening.org or call 314-588-9600.
ABOUT THE ST. LOUIS METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has been protecting, serving and assisting St. Louis citizens since 1808. The department is the second largest law enforcement agency in the state of Missouri. There are more than 1300 sworn officers who are responsible for the public safety of 318,000 residents who live in the City of St. Louis and thousands who visit the city every year.
ABOUT GATEWAY GREENING
Gateway Greening is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers people to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture. Gateway Greening has been working to provide creative, grassroots solutions to urban problems since 1984. Programs include supporting more than 200 community and youth-focused gardens across the St. Louis area through educational opportunities, garden supplies and technical assistance; urban beautification projects that enhance the St. Louis urban landscape; and the City Seeds Urban Farm, a 2.5 acre farm in downtown St. Louis that provides therapeutic horticulture and a jobs training program.
ABOUT SPACE ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN
An award-winning design-build firm in St. Louis, Missouri, SPACE was launched in 2005 by St. Louis native Tom Niemeier. SPACE’s collaborative team of talented architects and designers give clients inspiring environments to enhance the most important moments of life. As proud residents of St. Louis’ Grove neighborhood, SPACE encourages its employees to give back to the area through pro bono work and community involvement. SPACE’s community participation was recognized by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who awarded them the Spirit of St. Louis Award in 2010. For more information, visit www.spacestl.com, get up-to-the-minute news on Twitter at @spacearchitects, and on their blog at spacestl.wordpress.com.
Locations of the Little Free Libraries are:
|Southampton||South Hampton||4915 Macklind Ave||63109|
|Connect Tower Grove South (TGS) Community Garden||Tower Grove South||4259 Connecticut||63116|
|South City Family YMCA Community Garden||Southwest Garden||3150 Sublette||63139|
|Clinton Peabody Community Garden||Peabody, Darst, Webbe||1401 LaSalle||63104|
|Temple Gardens||Benton Park West||2740 Arsenal||63118|
|Fall and North Market Community Garden||JeffVanderLou||2411 Fall Ave.||63113|
|Historic Miss Tillie’s Corner Community Garden||JeffVanderLou||1353 N. Garrision||63106|
|Ville Family Gardens/Gardenville||The Greater Ville||4310 Maffitt Street||63113|
|Cote Brilliante||The Greater Ville||4588 Cottage Avenue||63113|
|Maple Community Garden||West End||5928 Maple Ave||63112|
|Clarence Clovers||O’Fallon||4528 Clarence Ave.||63115|