By now you probably heard of the district wide initiative to build 100 mini libraries around the district. Here are the steps and activities needed to build and install a mini library. See the photo above showing what installation was like for Alamo Ranch at Gardopia.
This link will take you to a video made by another Rotary club in relation to building a mini library and labelling it with Rotary emblems.
  1.  Get the plans for building a mini library; construct the libraries as shown in the following video. Get in touch and I will send a file with step by step and pictures of the build out of a library’
  1. Develop plans to raise money for the libraries and in some cases books. Rotarians know how to raise money through friends, business sponsors, and nonprofits interested in underserved communities but might not have the personnel to build the libraries. Professional sports teams get involved in literacy projects and might be interested in participating. Other sources of money would be the city in which your club is located. There are funds available for community service projects which may require following an application process.
  1. Develop and execute ideas to get books from libraries; from neighbors whose kids might have outgrown books that would be appropriate; when schools open, ask if they have books they can donate; churches might have books; if working with a neighborhood association they may want to donate books. The more books that are donated the less money spent on books.
  1. Decide where to install the mini libraries. The vision I have had is that they get put in underserved neighborhoods. That way, when underpaid parents have to be working long hours, the kids should be able to walk to the libraries and get a book to read at home. Currently I bet these kids can not get to a library by themselves. Exact placement could be in front of a willing landowner’s property (awkward way to say apartments,) community gardens like Gardopia (they have agreed to have one by each of their facilities which are being installed by my club, Alamo Ranch), in a firehouse (that way we know the library will be watched,) and by a church,
  1. What will be needed is to have people living near the mini libraries to monitor them making sure there are consistently enough books, maintaining the libraries physically, and trying to stop wanton destruction of the libraries. In the case of a firehouse, there are always firemen around the facility. In the case of the church, there should be a lot of activity so the library will be watched, and church personnel would monitor and assure proper use of the library. Gardopia personnel will be monitoring the library.
Another possible location is in laundromats. Having gone to laundromats with my mother when I was 9 years old, I know how bored a kid can be. With the books there  they would have something to do. Those installations could have coloring books to keep he kids occupied.
The major problem with a large buildout and installation of the mini libraries is the need for an infrastructure to help manage the libraries by occasional inspection to confirm the libraries are operational and in a good state of repair. This might take a couple levels of Oversight. Currently 24 mini libraries are being built by several 5840 Rotary clubs. Another club has raised $10,000 for literacy projects. I believe a lot of the money will be used to build libraries. While the clubs will set up ways to monitor the libraries in their areas, there will be cost savings from the quantity purchases of supplies if there is a district wide committee overseeing things.
  1. Celebrate the opening of the library to get PR for the project and the club by inviting the press, elected officials, neighbors. This could result in money for more libraries and more community members joining Rotary because of the project.
Please get in touch and let me know if you will be building libraries so we can track how many our district Rotarians are building. Get in touch if money is an issue. There may be some suggestions we can discuss.
Chief of Staff
PolioPlus Chair
Rotary District 5840