Durham Tech Little Free Libraries thrive with Book Harvest partnership

library staff at free little library on main campus With about 150 books being donated from Book Harvest every month, the Little Free Libraries at Durham Technical Community College are flourishing.

Little Free Libraries, a decade-long global movement, are stations where people can grab books for free and bring their unwanted books for others to enjoy. The Durham Tech Little Free Libraries were installed last year on Main Campus, Orange County Campus, and Northern Durham Center.

“The Durham Tech Library is so grateful and happy to be in our second year as one of Book Harvest's Community Book Bank partners,” said Mary Kennery, Durham Tech Library Technician. “Our Little Libraries on all three campuses are well stocked with books of all types and reading levels.”

The books have consisted of self-help, art, literary classics, textbooks and reference, and fiction. They mainly are geared towards adult readers with some for young adults.

While Book Harvest focuses its programming toward babies through teens, it still gets donations of books better suited for older readers.

“Anything that’s appropriate for kids those ages we (usually) keep and use in our programs. Things that fall outside of that, we try to figure out what’s the best fit for those books to go,” said Daniele Berman, Book Harvest Communications and Events Manager.

Durham Tech has a designated spot at Book Harvest. When Kennery makes her monthly trip, she often picks up four to five boxes.

She checks the Free Little Libraries weekly, re-stocking and rotating the selection as needed. All three little libraries contain books from the Book Harvest in addition to any that others leave.

library staff putting books in free little libraries “We are all about, the books that come to us from the community, we’re giving them back to the community,” Berman said. “These are all donated by folks who want other people to have access to them. … Little Free Libraries are such a great way (to ensure) everybody has access to (them).”

The College’s Little Free Libraries were designed and built by Durham Tech carpentry students and painted by Durham Tech fine arts students.

Durham Tech students have also volunteered at the Book Harvest warehouse and store.

“I have a student who volunteered at (the store) last year. She loved it so much that she co-founded the Student Ambassadors for Volunteer Engagement, or SAVE, Club and has been a fantastic volunteer ever since,” said Jes Dormady, Center for College and Community Service Coordinator.

For Berman, Book Harvest having a relationship with Durham Tech just makes sense.

“It’s just really such a natural partnership,” she said. “You all are doing education in the community and for folks in the community, and we are about partnering with community organizations to provide resources to folks,” Berman said. “I'm really glad for our work together.”


7/18/18: Little Free Libraries debut on three Durham Tech campuses, build community