Starting February 1, Ensemble Arts and The Philadelphia Orchestra are partnering with Visit Philadelphia to open a Little Free(dom) Library at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts at 300 S. Broad Street! Running until November 30, 2024, the initiative will promote and share various books written by diverse authors and is open to everyone visiting the building.
Little Free Libraries are small, physical library structures where visitors can freely take a book and/or add a book. Little Free(dom) Libraries aims to put diverse authors – Asian American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Latino and LGBT+ authors – and their writings at the forefront of select Little Free Libraries, including the one at the Kimmel Center.
The campaign was founded to celebrate Black History Month this February, as the Little Free(dom) Library initiative will kick off by acknowledging Black history truths through supporting banned books written by Black authors. The initiative aims to shine a light on the significant contributions of Black and African American people throughout history to further promote equality. Local Black-owned bookstores will provide the book list curation and books, while the Free Library of Philadelphia will host a resource page on its website with information about Black authors and their stories.
All library structures will be decorated with gorgeous art by Alloyius Mcilwaine and will contain a QR code or URL on the side of the structure that will provide more information about the authors, books, and banned book advocacy information. The public is also encouraged to consider providing their own books if one wishes to trade with one of the books in the Little Free(dom) Library.
The Little Free(dom) Libraries campaign will take place at select sites across the Philadelphia region including: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Visitor Center, Franklin Square, and more. For location information, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/map/
By sharing diverse voices in stories, we’re proud to celebrate the critical history and experiences of diverse communities and their art, while amplifying their voices to the larger Philadelphia region.
To learn more about how we’re celebrating Black History Month, check out our blog where we chat with artists and community members about the arts, how they use their platform to affect progress, and advise for young people.