The evening began with a brief introduction and history of Little Free Library/ Libros Libres program. This program began three years ago as a collaboration with BigThought and the Dallas Public Library. The current project was introduced by the reading of a letter from donor Helen Stassen, which explained her interest in donating the libraries in memory of the officers. Helen lost her son to gun violence 6 years ago. This tragic loss made her family feel the need to “do something” that would help them remember and heal from the loss. They decided to build a Little Free Library in memory of their son. While keeping the memory of their son alive, the library has helped them connect and contribute to their community. After the July incident in Dallas where five police officers lost their lives, the Stassen family felt the need to do something to help the healing of Dallas community. They hope to do so by donating 5 little free libraries as memorials for the fallen officers. They wish that the Dallas community is able to benefit and heal by helping and contributing to the community through these libraries.
Joli Robinson from Dallas Police, community affairs department spoke about their hopes and the significance of the project as a memorial for the officers. The evening then continued into feedback activities asking the attendees regarding preferred locations for the LFLs in Dallas, hopes and expectations from the project, and stewards,designers and locations suggestions.
Few suggestions that emerged through the feedback activity during the event,
“wonderful way to honor the officers on an ongoing basis...another opportunity for communities to come together”
“I think our community will really appreciate having an accessible reminder to the events that transpired - a meaningful place where community can come together”
“Continues community engagement around a positive memorial that gives back to the community”
“it will be seen as a positive way for the communities affected to engage, heal and grow together, in the hope of preventing further violence”
Do share your hopes and expectations from the project.
Between now and 10th September we will be finalizing locations, stewards and designers for the 5 Little Free Libraries. Using the total budget of $3000, volunteer designers, stewards and interested participants from the community will work together to design and build the 5 libraries. If you are interested to be a steward or a designer for one of the 5 little free libraries or would like to suggest locations to host these libraries, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 214.252.2900
Here is a brief background and images of the Little Free Library/ Libros Libres project so far.
Little Free Libraries/Libros Libres is a literacy and community design initiative in Dallas that uses free book exchanges to support community and promote a culture of reading. The program has brought together local artists, designers, and community leaders to design and build a range of public outdoor book exchanges in West Dallas, South Dallas/Fair Park, and south Oak Cliff. The design and function of the libraries are site-specific and developed through a collaboration between designers and community leaders. 20 LFL/Libros Libres have been completed. You can read more about the project at lfldallas.org