Skip to Content
/ Articles / Community /

Indigenous Little Free Library Opens in Downtown Reading

by Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge

Mar 26, 2024

Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge is delighted to announce that we were awarded a Little Free Library Impact Grant for an Indigenous Little Free Library in 2023. Through a coordinated community service effort, the library was constructed and delivered to its host site at 237 Court St., Reading, on Dec. 20, 2023.

We are incredibly grateful for the community’s effort to bring this library to life. Wyomissing Boy Scout Troop 413 assembled the library and secured the structure in a sturdy planter generously donated by New Castle Lawn and Landscape. New Castle selected a sleek planter design and provided soil, wood chips, and winter greens to beautify the library structure. The Scouts were happy to have the building experience and learned a lot about mixing concrete, working with concrete tools, and some physics about weight and leverage while working on the project.

The concrete and supplies used to secure the post in the planter were generously donated by Weaver’s Ace Hardware in Sinking Spring. We’re also grateful for the generosity of our host site, Berks County Community Foundation, for believing in this Little Free Library project and encouraging community literacy by allowing us to install the library in front of their building. Since its installation, the library has seen a lot of traffic, and books are frequently donated and exchanged by both the library stewards and neighbors.

Little Free Library grants no-cost book-sharing boxes where needed most on tribal lands and in Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. They work with Indigenous community leaders and members to place book exchanges in locations where book access is important to improving literacy.

There are over 13,000 Indigenous people in Berks County, according to data from the Urban Indian Health Institute, and the location of this library is designated a high-poverty area and a book desert, where households are least likely to have 100+ books in the home.

Through this program, Little Free Library aims to strengthen the community, inspire readers, expand easy book access, support positive literacy outcomes, and make Little Free Libraries available in high-need locations like Reading, serving Indigenous Peoples.

To celebrate the installation of our newest Little Free Library, we are planning an open house event on Thursday, April 4, from 3-4 p.m., in front of the Berks County Community Foundation, at 237 Court St., Reading. Neighbors will be able to choose from a diverse selection of free books and bookmarks while enjoying some light refreshments.

Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge is a Native-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in downtown Reading. Our mission is to promote the visibility of Native Americans in Berks County and beyond through community education, leadership, and activism.

We need your support!

Your contribution makes community media possible.

A donation of any size to your nonprofit media organization supports the future of media access in our community - the things you love, and the places you care about, by the people you know.

Live Streaming