About KW Little Free Diverse Libraries
The goal of the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Free Diverse Libraries project is to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous and other writers of colour and to help educate, inspire and encourage and promote anti-racism across the region.
Donations help fill Little Free Libraries throughout KW with titles that allow readers to experience and enjoy both "mirror" books (in which they can see their own experiences reflected) and "window" books (in which they can learn about the lived experiences of others).
Books for this project are for folks of all ages, from babies to adults, and include both fiction and non-fiction. All books are labelled with information about the project before they are put into Little Free Libraries. Readers are encouraged to enjoy the books and return them to a Little Free Library near them when finished so the books can circulate and be enjoyed by many.
As of March 2021, KW Little Free Diverse Libraries has raised over $4000 and purchased or collected over 1000 books that have now been distributed to approximately 250 Little Free Libraries in neighbourhoods across the region. The work continues! Please support this project any way you can -- see options below.
Sarah Kamya and Little Free Diverse Libraries
Little Free Diverse Libraries is the brainchild of Sarah Kamya, a New York City school counsellor and book lover who started this project in June 2020 in her hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts with the goal of amplifying Black voices, celebrating Black stories, and supporting Black-owned book stores. She started small in her own community and the project quickly grew.
Sarah has raised thousands of dollars and collected thousands of donated books that have been shipped to all U.S. states. She has inspired people all over the U.S. and Canada to follow suit with Little Free Diverse Libraries projects of their own -- including right here in Kitchener-Waterloo. Thank you, Sarah, for creating this movement!
Be sure to follow Sarah on Instagram @littlefreediverselibraries and, if you are in the U.S., make a donation!
How to Donate
Donate money via PayPal or etransfer to .
Donating money allows us to support independent bookstores. Approximately half the funds raised is spent at Black or Indigenous-owned bookstores in the GTA or Southern Ontario and half is spent at independent bookstores in Waterloo Region.
Buy books directly from our Indigo book registry. There are nearly 500 titles to choose from, many of which have been recommended by racialized members of our community. Books are shipped directly to me, labelled, and distributed to Little Free Libraries.
We welcome donations of used books from your own collection. Email me at the address below to arrange for pick-up or drop off. Please ensure the books you're donating are by racialized authors.
Ward 8 Project
Thanks to a City of Kitchener #LoveMyHood neighbourhood grant,
Kitchener's Ward 8 will soon be home to ten new Little Free Diverse
These new little libraries will be spread geographically throughout one
of the city's most culturally rich wards, largely in neighbourhoods where
few little libraries currently exist.
These Little Free Diverse Libraries will be dedicated to housing titles by Black, Indigenous and other racialized authors. They'll work somewhat like lending libraries, with the hope that books will be borrowed and returned for others to enjoy. Members of the community will also be encouraged to contribute books.
We're in the process of finalizing our ten locations and hope to have the libraries installed later this spring, when the ground is thawed and (fingers crossed!) Covid is less of a barrier.
In the meantime, we're busy getting organized! Stay tuned here and on social media (see links below) for updates!