Neighborhood Book Boxes

Students design, build and place miniature libraries in their neighborhoods to spark curiosity.

Photo of Kristie Haltiwanger
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Many of my students have transportation issues that prevent them from attending libraries after school hours. The idea of Miniature Book Boxes would give them access to books after school hours as well as during the summer. The Miniature Book Boxes would include fiction and nonfiction books that would spark curiosity among the students.

This project is interdisciplinary and will incorporate STEM standards. Students will design and build the tiny libraries. They will also create STEM themed collections of interesting books along with prompt cards and challenge cards that will invite students to investigate their own community. For example, students who live near a watershed area might be prompted to find out more about the plant life that thrives in the area. They could follow-up with a challenge and create their own watershed garden.

https://goo.gl/U21KOo


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Photo of Kelli M. Worthington
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Reading books in the early stages and in schools is good for children's because reading books is good and it gives you a lot of knowledge and information and a good step is taken to give book boxes to students where they read books and make their own tiny library in my childhood i read different types of books benefit i get my reading skills is got better and better and also writing skills and I do my assignments for me without taking any help to anyone https://www.assignmentmaster.co.uk/do-my-assignment/

Photo of Sarah Hamilton
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Photo of Peter
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Photo of Crystal Smith
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What a neat idea!  It is always good to make books available to kids as much as we can.

Photo of Tambra Pingle
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What a great idea! I have seen several of these in different neighborhoods but never thought of having the kids create one. Good luck!

Photo of Kristie Haltiwanger
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Recently, Mini Book Boxes idea has really taken off. Our school is hosting our first Maker Faire this weekend. I'm excited to have a prototype to share. I have several teachers on board. One teacher from another school in our district is actually working on the same thing at her school. I have shared the doc with her as well. 

Photo of Ben Courchesne
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I love the way this idea calls upon students as designers, builders, editors, and citizens to produce a civically-minded and achievable project! I'd love to know more about how students will engage with the community to choose locations for the libraries. Do they get permission fro ma town council or neighborhood association? Do they go "street art style" and just install them and see what happens? I'm wondering what happens after the initial installation of these
I'm wondering what happens after the initial installation? Will future classes keep up the libraries? Re-stock them, etc.? How might the project become more sustainable? This is has me very excited! 

Photo of Kristie Haltiwanger
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Once mini book boxes are up and running, the idea is that users will take a book, leave a book. If that works, restock shouldn't be a big problem. I'd like to have a parent or two check in occasionally to make sure that the books being left are appropriate in content.

Photo of Kristie Haltiwanger
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Update:
My students are actually putting together their prototype tomorrow morning. It's been interesting that so many people are interested in this same idea. I have some parents that have actually offered to build these mini book boxes once they see the prototypes that the students create. I'm so excited to see that this is coming together so well. Yay!! 

Photo of Cait
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I love this! I was thinking of doing something similar for our local communities. Have you heard of the Little Free Library project? Here's a link: https://littlefreelibrary.org/  

I echo Ben Courchesne 's questions below about how to maintain them/what happens after the install. 

Photo of Kristie Haltiwanger
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Ben,
Right now, I have some of the same questions that you are asking. I'm actually building this plane as I fly it. A teacher at one of our high schools is interested in having her students build the book boxes after my elementary students design them.
As far as restocking, we have thrown around several ideas... I'd love thoughts about this from others.

Photo of Cait
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Does your school have any sort of built-in service time? I'm at a school with community service time 4 days a week, so part of that time could be restocking books. Could be trickier depending on the schedule. 

Photo of Donna Teuber
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Hi Kristie! So glad that you were able to post this idea last night! I'm excited to see how the idea can be developed! The next step is to add some details about how this idea would look. You can start by editing your contribution page. The ideate phase ends in five days so go ahead and get more detail posted over the weekend. I'm happy to join in if you want to share out a collaborative Google Doc.