Thursday, 25 September 2014

Two more Little Free Libraries for North East London

We've built two more Little Free Libraries for wonderful Walthamstow. The largest network of Little Free Libraries in the UK will soon be comprised of 14 LFLs in total.

The first, pictured above will be stocked with page turners for people of all ages, but the second below will be filled with books just for children and young people. Both Little Free Libraries will be installed on Wingfield Road.

We have worked with a fantastic artist, Emma Scutt, who added the beautifully engaging designs to both Little Free Libraries. Both LFLs were made possible by the support of the Wingdolph community (residents of Wingfield and Randolph Roads), who will be holding an official launch on Friday 3rd October to introduce the LFLs to the local community.

Take a look at the gallery of Walthamstow Little Free Libraries here. Happy reading!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Little Free Libraries and the promotion of free public art

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” Maria Montessori.

Books open us up to a world of imagination, but before a person chooses to pick up, open and read a book, they may need to be inspired to do so. If books are fuel for the imagination, then the places where the books reside should inspire us too. That's why all of our Little Free Libraries are decorated with vivid and engaging art.

As well as being free book sharing venues for communities, each Little Free Library is a one-of-kind piece of inspiring public art. We work with a hugely talented variety of artists, from traditional contemporary artists and book illustrators to street artists, tattoo artists and many more besides.

Below we feature some of our most recent Little Free Library creations and shine a light on the fantastic artists that helped turn each into a magical and inspiring art installation.

Gabriela Castellanos has worked with us to create two beautiful artworks. The first is installed on Garner Road in Walthamstow. Above, Gabriela adding colour to the second, Epping Forest themed Little Free Library, installed on Overton Drive in Wanstead.

Above: Oliver and Freddie celebrate after their Little Free Library is installed outside their home in Wanstead.

Above: The Urban Fox Little Free Library in Stoke Newington by Hannah Adamaszek. Hannah is well known within the street art scene for her female portraits, which have brought a painterly style often found within contemporary art. In 2013 she created a stunning urban fox mural as part of the Mural on the Marsh project in East London. She has now added her urban fox design to two of our LFLs, which have both become very popular. How could you walk past this without stopping to take a book?

Pictured above, the nature themed Little Free Library by artist Leticia Molera Vasquez (pictured right) and below at work in her tattoo studio.

Artist Emma Scutt worked with us on one of our very first Little Free Libraries, pictured below left. She has been a great supporter of our charity through her collaboration and has added her beautiful, engaging art to three Little Free Libraries.

Above right: Emma brings a night owl to life. Emma has created a wide range of stunning murals as part of her portfolio and her LFL designs now form permanent art installations for communities to enjoy. We'll be installing two Little Free Libraries on Wingfield Road in Walthamstow, London on Friday 3rd October. The first pictured above right and the second will be unveiled on Friday, which is themed especially for children and of course filled with wonderful children's books.

The Red Lion Lane Little Free Library will be roaring into life on Saturday 4 October in Woolwich, South East London. The red lion design was created by illustrator Emma Russell. This is the second Little Free Library that Emma added her unique and inspiring art to.

Above: Emma Russell adds her illustrations to the Hear, Bear Pear Little Free Library. You can listen to Emma talking about how she came up with the design on London Live.

On one of our most recent projects we have been working with a very unique artist with a craft that dates back to the 15th century. Russell Frost of Hooksmith has added a one of a kind book cover to one of our Little Free Libraries, which will be installed at the Wanstead Tap in Forest Gate, London on 18 October.

Pictured above from left: Russell next to his printing press; letters inset within the press; and the top of the Little Free Library with the printed words "Once upon a time at the Wanstead Tap".

Letterpress printing was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century. We'll be announcing the launch event for the Wanstead Tap Little Free Library very soon. Check our website or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date.

Kiko Honda-Powell studied architectual and interior design in Osaka, Japan. Now a resident of London she has added her interpretative artistic stylings to two of our Little Free Libraries. Pictured above bluebells, trees and sunlit leaves subtly encourage passers-by to stop in for a book.

Above: a recent coffee morning meet-up at community cafe Albert and Francis in Leyton, East London, where the Little Free Library has become a popular feature.

Johnny Rotten and Samuel Plimsoll (who were both born in the area) have a chat on one side of the Finsbury Park Little Free Library, while a child points passers-by in the right direction on the door. The wonderful illustrations were created by Islington based artist Teresa Robertson. The LFL is stewarded by a wonderful community of book lovers in the Plimsoll Road area of Finsbury Park.

We'll be posting more pictures and featuring more artists soon. In the meantime you can keep up with our progress around the country on Facebook, Twitter and on our website.

Registered charity no. 1158557

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton share a common theme

We worked with three fantastic artists to create three beautiful Little Free Libraries in Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton. Each LFL has an Epping Forest theme (the Forest is within walking distance of each LFL) and is full of books for each community to share.

Above left: Leytonstone's Little Free Library by artist Leticia Molera Vasquez. Above right: Leyton's Little Free Library by artist Kiko Honda-Powell. Below: Wanstead's Little Free Library by Gabriela Castellanos. When she's not decorating LFLs for us Leticia runs tattoo studio Artefacto in Leytonstone with her partner Sean Vasquez. Kiko specializes in interpretative art and studied graphic and interior design in Osaka, Japan, while Gabriela takes her art influences from her Venezuelan father using a graphic approach with vivid colours.

Three little libraries with one theme, each completely different; all beautiful and engaging.

Read more about our Little Free Libraries across London and the UK in a recent article by the Independent.

A new network of Little Free Libraries for Bradford

Little Free Library Project UK are working in partnership with Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw together with local community organisations, artists and businesses to deliver a network of Little Free Libraries for Bradford. The project is currently in the planning stages, but we are looking forward to launching this exciting new project.

We spoke to Councillor Ross-Shaw who told us why he is so passionate about the project:

"The Little Free Libraries project has sparked the imaginations of people around the world and in Bradford it's been no different. Encouraging people, and children in particular, not just to read but to share books with others is something everyone's getting behind.

There's a big drive in Bradford to improve our literacy rates for children and adults and it would be great to play a little part in that by making it easier for people to access books and develop a love of reading. The fact that Little Free Libraries can be public works of art in the middle of communities makes them extra special.”

We'll be announcing more details soon.

Islington's first Little Free Library

We are installing a network of Little Free Libraries in the London Borough of Islington. The first of these has now been installed in Finsbury Park.

Located on Prah Road near Plimsoll and Blackstock Roads, the Little Free Library was decorated by local artist Teresa Robertson. Above you can see Samuel Plimsoll in conversation with Johnny Rotten, who were both born in the area, though a few years apart!

Below a footballer can be seen reading a copy of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. The LFL is hosted by the Flood family, who act as Little Free Library stewards with the support of their neighbours in this community spirited area of North London.

Our Leyton Little Free Library at Albert and Francis Cafe

Albert and Francis is a community cafe in the heart of Leyton. The Little Free Library has been in place for several weeks and has proved to be very popular with readers of all ages. On Tuesday mornings a group of local mums meet with their toddlers for a coffee. We stopped by to ask them what they thought about the little book sharing venue. "It's great to be able to pick up a book anytime and there are some great picture books for toddlers too." said Kate, who lives locally and donates books too.

The Leyton Little Free Library was built in our magic workshop in West Sussex and decorated by artist Kiko Honda-Powell with an Epping Forest theme.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Coming soon to London SE18

We'll be installing this roaring Little Free Library on Red Lion Lane near Woolwich in early October.

To find out more about where and when we're installing our Little Free Libraries around the UK, please visit our website: