Zuzana Chovanec

Tulsa Little Free Libraries – Zuzana Chovanec, Stephanie Younis, Jonathan Townsend, Kate Blalack – Transporting Education and Literacy into Open Spaces (TELOS)

Date grant awarded: 02/16/2018

Tulsa Little Free Libraries, Inc. (T.E.L.O.S, Inc.) pilot project will bring Little Free Libraries to City of Tulsa Parks. The concept of the Little Free Library is of a neighborhood library, where community members can share books. Today there are some 20,000 units that are registered on an online database with 13 in Tulsa and the number is growing. This initiative aims to take it to the next level and implement it throughout the city. Reading performance in Tulsa area public schools remains low, particularly in Book Deserts, which are areas where few children have access to books. Through partnership with Tulsa Community College (TCC) and in conjunction with Tulsa City Parks, this pilot project plans to put Little Free Libraries in 15 area parks. These locations were specifically selected because they are located in proximity to low performing public schools and have limited access to library services. This project is being incorporated into the service-learning curriculum in Liberal Arts courses being taught at TCC, where students will conduct background research, run book drives to obtain books for the libraries, identify local stewards, create marketing materials, draft grant applications, install the units, and aid in the maintenance, and use tracking. We aim to bring the act of reading and access to books into informal, open spaces.