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Mini Libraries: Downsizing the library to the size of a mailbox in Las Vegas

Posted at 7:15 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 00:59:35-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It looks like a mailbox, but instead of letters or packages, it’s filled with books, other reading material, and food. All are free for the community to access.

They are made from leftover materials. Several of these mini-libraries are perched on wooden panels throughout the city.

Chris Giunchigliani, a former Clark County Commissioner and middle school teacher dedicates her library to her late husband, who was also a middle school teacher. It sits in front of her house, not far from Crestwood Elementary School.

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"I was talking to some of these carpenter apprenticeships and mentioned that I wanted to put up some libraries. They said we’ll make them. They initially made 15. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted a library and I got rid of them immediately. I want to put up 36," Giunchigliani told us.

She makes sure to fill the libraries with items but more often than not the job is already done for her. The library stays stocked mostly because community members drop off items. The library services kids and adults.

"I also have homeless that go between Sahara and Charleston. They ask if they can come over and I said yeah sit down that’s why I have the chairs here," said Giunchigliani.

It’s not just books, you can find things like eyeglasses, calendars, school supplies and even canned goods and water in the library.

Giunchigliani explains, "I need more kids' books and Spanish-speaking books. I’ve had people drop those off as well. I’ve even had books written in Yiddish. So I try to accommodate those other special requests. We’re kind of your neighborhood corner library like our big cities have. We don’t have that here. It’s feeding the under-served neighborhoods."

Others have followed suit and have put up or built their own libraries in their neighborhoods or business.

"I think it’s a thing that builds community. During the pandemic we had so many people walking. It’s not just about the books, it’s kind of a mini gathering place to some extent. I think that’s what Vegas is still all about. It’s a small community and if the library can spark getting to know your neighbor, then that’s a blessing in and of itself," says Giunchigliani.

So as these mini-libraries say, “take a book, leave a book”.

Check out how you can put up or build your own mini-library!