About KW Little Free Diverse Libraries
The goal of the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Free Diverse Library 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 diverse titles that allow readers to experience and enjoy both "mirror" books (in which they can see their own experiences and culture reflected) and "window" books (in which they can learn about others' lived experiences).
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 this 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 they're finished. We want these books to circulate and be enjoyed by many!
As of January 2021, KW Little Free Diverse Libraries has raised over $4000 and purchased or collected over 900 books that have now been distributed to approximately 200 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
The original Little Free Diverse Libraries project 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 is preferable because it allows us to support independent bookstores. Approximately half of money raised will be spent at Black or Indigenous-owned bookstores in the GTA or Southern Ontario and half will be spent at independent bookstores in Waterloo Region.
Buy books directly from our Indigo book registry. There are nearly 500 titles to choose from. Books will be shipped directly to me, and I'll get them into 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 Black, Indigenous or authors of colour.
Ward 8 Project
We have some exciting news!
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 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!