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JAY D-I-Y: How to build a Little Free Library

Building one of your own can do a lot of good for your local community.

CLEVELAND — Little Free Libraries are sustainable, give back, and promote literacy—and building one of your own can do a lot of good for your local community.

In Wednesday's edition of JAY D-I-Y during What's New, we showed you how it's done, and shared the one Jay Crawford built with a special community.

The library is the biggest project we have shared to date, but don't let that scare you. Just grab some friends and neighbors and work together, and it's very doable. Plus, there are many different options (and skill-levels) available for plans. Jay made a custom design based off of some existing plans, but if you want to follow an exact plan, you can find several different design plans and tips here.

Jay installed his Little Free Library in front of the King Kennedy Boys & Girls Club on East 59th St. in Cleveland, an area that has been a book desert since the start of the pandemic. A new Cleveland Public Library building is under construction nearby and plans to open in the fall, but in the meantime. this Little Free Library will be a welcome addition to the surrounding neighborhood.

Literacy in the H.O.O.D. founder Chrishawndra Matthews and Ward 5 Precinct Leader Cassandra Gordon joined representatives from Boys & Girls Club, CMHA and the Cleveland Public Library for the installation. And since every Little Free Library needs a "steward"—someone who takes care of it, keeps it full of books and spreads the word about it—Jay spoke with Cassandra Gordon's daughter Ty’Janeyah, who will step into the role for this Little Free Library. She and other members of the Be You Sisters youth group read stories today and have ongoing activities planned to keep the community engaged in literacy.

You can learn more about the Little Free Library organization here.

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