2013-02-13 / Features

“Take a Book” Mini Libraries Established To Help Hurricane Sandy-Impacted Communities

Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) is proud to have established five Mini Libraries
in Brooklyn and Queens to support communities hit by Hurricane Sandy.
These bright orange newspaper boxes have been converted into little
libraries filled with free books for children and adults. People are
encouraged to take books away with no expectation that they should be
returned. We hope that in turn these books are kept, shared and/or
passed on within their communities.

A number of libraries in Brooklyn and Queens suffered extensive damage
from the storm, with many book collections entirely wiped out. In
immediate response, ULU launched a children's book campaign to help
reseed library collections and to distribute books directly to young
victims. In an inspirational swell of response to the children’s book
campaign, ULU received over 22,000 books donated from all across the

As a result, ULU was able to put five Mini Libraries into place, each
clearly visible in front of a public library branch temporarily closed
due to storm damage. These Mini Libraries are a way of putting books
into the hands of kids still recovering from the effects--both tangible
and emotional--of Sandy and also serve to connect the public to their
library even while the doors are closed. Currently Mini Libraries live
at the Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, and Red Hook libraries in Brooklyn
 and at the Broad Channel and Seaside libraries in Queens. Each Mini
Library holds about a hundred books and ULU refills books regularly to
keep materials fresh.

ULU is grateful for our partnerships with both Brooklyn Public Library and
Queens Library in order to make this project a success. We are proud to
help serve the public while repairs are being made to the libraries in
our communities.

The construction of the Mini Libraries was made possible by a Hurricane
Relief Grant from the Citizen's Committee for New York City.

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