Sheffield community project to help residents create 'little libraries' on their streets

A Hillsborough based community art project is encouraging residents to create little libraries so that reading is accessible for everyone.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 7:00 am
RivelinCo will send out starter kits so that residents can build their own Little Free Libraries in February.
RivelinCo will send out starter kits so that residents can build their own Little Free Libraries in February.

RivelinCo, established by Linda Bloomfield last year, is a community based arts project which is launching a little free library scheme in Sheffield next month.

Little Free Libraries, homemade containers filled with donated books that are free for passers by to pick up, took off in the US but have spread internationally, finding their way to Sheffield in recent years.

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Little Free Libraries are a place for books to be donated and collected by residents for free.

Linda decided to create a map of the Little Free Libraries, as well as community fridges and larders, which operate on the same principle but with food items, across Hillsborough this month.

The scheme will also involve sending out starter kits to residents who want to build their own little libraries in February, and Linda hopes to establish 20 more in this way.

Linda said: “Offering things like food and books without any barriers is important. If we can all share when we have things in excess that helps everybody out. It helps people in need and it makes our community look nicer.

"I made my little free library (on Withens Avenue) as a lockdown project and we had an opening ceremony where some children from out street cut a ribbon. It was really fun to make it.

"For now we are mapping the libraries and fridges in Hillsborough and S6 but when the project launches it will be open to anyone in Sheffield. We will provide resources so that people can make their own libraries and we will provide a starter pack of books and some of the materials to build it.

“The libraries will be fairly inexpensive to make and our starter kits will be free. But you can make the libraries out of lots of things, such as old appliances that are waterproof, crates or plastic boxes.”

In 2017, the National Literacy Trust revealed Brightside and Hillsborough as the fifth 'most vulnerable constituency' to serious reading and writing problems out of 533 constituencies nationwide.

Through grassroots schemes like RivelinCo’s which improve access to reading to those most in need, disparities in resources and education can be addressed.

To find out more about the project, contact [email protected]