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GEP's Free Little Library Displayed at Drake Community Library's Festival of Trees

This year the Grinnell Education Partnership’s entry for Drake Community Library’s 2021 Festival of Trees highlights our ongoing initiative to sustain the community’s local free little libraries.

Organized in collaboration with AmeriCorps service members Morgan Niner with the Public Humanities Partnership and Isaac Ferber with GEP, the ‘tree’ is a library generously donated to Drake in 2020 adorned with a big red bow and chock-full with free books.

Isaac was tasked with helping to find sponsors to sustain the more than a dozen free little libraries around the Grinnell area as part of his work as the Grinnell Education Partnership’s taskforce coordinator for equity and inclusion. His work is continuing the efforts of one of last year’s AmeriCorps member Ziggy Thetard, who in collaboration with her Healthy Reader’s Taskforce installed four libraries throughout the community with the explicit goal of providing free reading materials to children of low-income families.

“Access to age-appropriate reading material is essential for ensuring an equitable playing field for young people, regardless of socio-economic status,” said Ferber. “These free little libraries are meant to help lower this hurdle faced by so many in the Grinnell Community.” Isaac hopes to build on Ziggy’s inspiring work to find permanent sponsors for these libraries, working towards increasing community engagement and keeping them well-stocked with engaging books.

What is a free little library? It’s a small structure, often built to resemble a tiny house, stocked full of completely free reading material that can be taken and read by absolutely anyone. Want to visit some of the libraries in Grinnell and pick up a free book, or perhaps donate your own? Contact Isaac ( for more information or consult the map made showing some of the available free little libraries at this link.


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