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Little Library Stewards

We created the Little Library Steward position to fill two needs; create a job for teens so they can continue to develop meaningful work history, and help a community asset avoid becoming a community nuisance.

You may be familiar with the former newspaper boxes, which have become little libraries, where you can take a book and/or leave a book. Many of these little libraries are cared for by a resident, though some have been left without a care-taker. We have partnered with Reading Recycled to maintain a number of little libraries they installed.

As a Little Library Steward, teens are responsible for maintaining, cleaning and stocking little libraries. We piloted this job in the West Philadelphia Promise neighborhood, and have hired three teens, to each manage one little library.

Once a week the LLS come to our office and they review their feedback form, gather their books and cleaning supplies and head out to clean and restock their respective libraries. Each library has a sticker on it with a QR code that passers-by can take a photo of, which takes them to a feedback from where they can rate how clean and organized the library is and what kinds of books they'd like to see next. The LLS have been trained on how to select and sort books by grade level.

In 2022, we were awarded a grant by First Books Philadelphia to help stock the books with culturally and developmentally appropriate books.

If you would like to support this or any of our other youth programs, click on the donate button below. Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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“I HAVE to say how WONDERFUL the inside looked. It was well stocked and arranged—Kudos to whoever is watching over it.” Anne K.


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