On June 9, 2021, some members of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts) Black Student Union (BSU) held a dedication ceremony for its Little Free Library which is now installed on the school’s campus at 321 East 3rd Street in Bethlehem.
The Black Student Union raised more than $1100 to fund this project through proceeds from its “Black History- Then, Now, and Black Joy” show held in February. A portion of the proceeds have gone toward the purchase of 60 books to help stock the libraries. The BSU selected this project due to library closures that took place during the Covid pandemic, and their interest and research into understanding geographic book deserts that exist in some cities.
The Little Free Library book-sharing movement fosters “Building Community, Inspiring Readers, and Expanding Book Access for All”. Book sharing for these libraries is simple- anyone may take or share a book. Also, anyone can place books in the library if they would like to donate to the initiative.
“We purchased books for a wide range of ages, from preschool through high school readers,” says BSU’s faculty advisor, Jodi Fowler. “The focus for the books was to ensure diversity so that all readers can find themselves represented in the library’s book selection.”
BSU has also collected donated books from faculty and students and its members will be the stewards of the library, checking them bi-weekly to ensure they are well stocked.
BSU looks forward to seeing children from the community enjoying the books. BSU President, Trinity Jefferson, shared during the ceremony, “Knowing that we have a permanent staple that has our name on it as the Black Student Union, that was just started last year, it shows how much resilience we have, how much strength we have, and how much hope we have to make the world a better place and to help children.”