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New LFL for homeless served by Faith Fowler’s ministries

For more than a decade, the staff at Cass Communnity Social Services has been serving women and children, along with the chronically mentally ill, in a building on Woodrow Wilson in Detroit’s north end neighborhood. The Scott Building houses 50 homeless women and children on the first floor, along with 40 adults on the second and third floor suffering from bipolar, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses. The unique program for those with a mental illness is the only in Michigan. It offers them a place to stay with very little demands and because of that, 95 percent stay on their medication, according to the Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services. “It changes everything for them,” Fowler said. “If we can get them on the right dosage or the right drug, they can have …

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You gotta have goals

A few weeks ago, the head of Detroit Public Schools had a goal: a Little Free Library in front of all 97 schools in the district. Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather held a press conference in July and called on the community to sponsor each one. Only two months passed before she met her goal. Yesterday, Meriweather joined officials from the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and announced that many people in th community had stepped forward to help on this project and National Life Group and GLP & Associates would sponsor 40 Little Free Libraries to push it to completion. “Literacy has been one of our main areas of focus, and when we saw little libraries popping up around Detroit, we saw the potential to put this focus into action and involve the Detroit community in ushering in a new era …

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In Memory of Joshua A. Nolen, 10/20/1993 – 10/30/2015

Three Little Free Libraries have been sponsored at Detroit Public Schools as a tribute and memorial to Joshua A. Nolen – helping the DPS Community School District reach its goal of a library at all 97 schools. The campaign, the brainchild of Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather, was launched in July to help students continue reading through the summer and throughout the school year. It reached its goal on Sept. 26 with support from National Life Group and GLP & Associates — which sponsored 40 little libraries to push the campaign to completion. Besides donations made to those in memory of others, libraries have bee sponsored by many individuals supporting literacy and the school district. Joshua’s family said the 22-year-old man vibrant, strong and beautiful soul who was full of life and energy. He was a gentleman, athletic, loved his family …

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Little Library Prize Winners

Once upon a time, there were 25 Detroit artists who used their canvas to explore social, political and cultural issues, showing people what they may not see in Detroit. These artists helped us promote reading and community by putting their work on 25 Little Free Libraries destined for Detroit community gardens and urban farms. The unique exhibition was also known as the inaugural Little Library Prize – an art show based on the model of ArtPrize, but with a social mission. Congratulations to all 25 Detroit artists who participated in the show, displayed at the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair over Labor Day weekend 2016. In our minds, all are winners for using their talents to help promote a mission of reading in Detroit through the Little Free Library. We are grateful for their time but the true winners …

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Little Free Library in Gil Thorp comic strip

This week, the Little Free Library will appear in the storyline of Gil Thorp – a comic strip appearing in 50 newspapers across the country. For those unfamiliar, Gil Thorp has been published since 1958 and features a Milford High School athletic director who coaches the teams football, basketball and baseball teams. The comic storyline is sports-oriented but also tackles contemporary issues facing teenagers. Thanks so much to my Detroit News colleague, Neal Rubin, who has been writing the comic strip since 2004!

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Inaugural Little Library Prize at Michigan State Fair

Detroit Little Libraries and the Michigan State Fair have teamed up to present the inaugural Little Library Prize – featuring the work of 25 local artists on Little Free Libraries at the State Fair this week. Fair go-ers and others will vote on their favorites, the top five artists’ libraries will win cash prizes and the libraries will then be planted in community gardens in Detroit. Thanks so much to Fox 2 Detroit for giving us the opportunity to share our story. And thanks to artists Marianne Audrey Burrows, Hubert Massey and Naomi Cook for loaning us their libraries to feature on the news segment!

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Detroit Little Libraries in TIME Magazine

We made TIME magazine this week! This library that was transformed by artist Sean Bieri, a board member of Hatch Art in Hamtramck. & the libraries this snippet mentions will be in front of all 97 schools of Detroit Public Schools Community District! Said Sean: I was floored when a friend texted to tell me about this! There are images of the art in progress on my blog here: http://themanwhojaped.blogspot.com/2016/04/big-monsters-little-library.html

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Sponsor an original Little Library

Six one-of-a-kind Little Free Libraries that were created by Detroit artists (and one from New York) are now available for sponsorship.

These original libraries were created last summer when the founder of the Little Free Library movement, Todd Bol, came to Detroit and gave the Detroit Little Libraries campaign an award for being the fastest growing city of Little Free Libraries.

We threw a celebration and asked artists to transform some blank libraries to raise awareness of our campaign, and held an opening in a 4731 Gallery in the Grand River Creative Corridor. These libraries then went on a traveling exhibition, stopping first at the Detroit Public Library then for three months at the Mobile Homestead at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

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Little Libraries in The Detroit News

An effort to promote literacy through Little Free Libraries is being highlighted in a new exhibition in the Mobile Homestead at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.