What is the Little Free Library program?
The Little Free Library program is a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book and bring back another book to share. It’s a community resource exchange.
Our Little Library can be found at the Unity Park Rentals Community Building, 333 Auburn Ave, Pontiac, MI 48328.
- Installed by Jarrett Sanders (Community Housing Network) and Jeff Fohey (SUN TimeBank and Pontiac Regional Chamber).
- Painted by local artists associated with The Art Experience (scroll down this page to meet them)
- Built by The Wood Shop at the Waterford Senior Center.
- Books courtesy Macy’s RIF program, the Association of Nonprofit Professionals, Oakland Univeristy
- Other contributors
Unity Park Little Library locations
- Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, 150 Osmun St., Pontiac, MI 48342.
- Unity Park Rentals Community Building, 333 Auburn Ave., Pontiac, MI 48342.
- The Shirley Street Park, S. Shirley Street, Pontiac,MI 48342.
- Mattie McKinney Hatchett Park, 135 Perkins Street, Pontiac, MI 48342
- Another Little Library is located outside the Pontiac Public Library, 60 E. Pike St., Pontiac, MI 48342
Why are Little Libraries important
- Reading develops academic excellence
- Reading develops basic speech skills
- Reading expands the ways in which you can communicate
- Reading increases logical thinking skills
- Reading develops the ability to concentrate and focus
Meet the artists
Local well-known artists affiliated with The Art Experience, a community studio where affordable arts programs spark, explore, and nurture creativity, donated their time and talent painting the Little Libraries. Biographies are courtesy of The Art Experience. Please visit their site for additional information on the artists.
Sue Nimlin started at The Art Experience as an Open Studio participant in 1999. Soon thereafter she became a volunteer, an instructor, a board member, and staff artist. Ms. Nimlin has taught classes on art journaling, and nature-themed classes pertaining to birds, recycling and gardening. She loves the concept of an inclusive studio where a professional artist sits next to a beginning artist, people with disabilities sit next to people who are able bodied, and the homeless sit beside the CEO. She knows from her own experiences that art makes a difference in people’s lives.
Sue painted the Little Library found at the Mattie McKinney Hatchett Park. Sue used painting this Little Library as therapy to help her recover her health.
Marie Hartzell – Hoerauff is a self-taught artist and enjoys all types of media. She likes to donate her art to support non-profits like The Art Experience, VSA of Michigan, and others who support individuals with disabilities.
She works with students who have special needs in Open Studio and supports them in their artistic process. Ms. Hartzell-Hoerauff has also launched a new programs at The Art Experience–Speed Painting and Sunday Family Fun Days. She is also a member of The Art ExperienceBoard of Directors and is very involved in fundraising activities.
Kevin “Falah” Cannon is a vocal performer, hip-hop and graffiti artist, emcee, actor and educator with his BFA in Theater from Wayne State University. Mr. Cannon, has numerous accolades and awards as a solo-artist or member of a group. In college he was awarded Best Actor in the Hillberry Studio and the Bonstelle Acting Award.
During his work in the Plymouth School, he noticed young people’s lack of understanding of true Hip-Hop. He created a Hip-Hop culture class to teach young people the four elements Hip-Hop, and its true meaning to inform, educate and entertain. With a focus on graffiti, he teaches spray paint art, rapping, and the art of emceeing. This class has been taught at Youthville Detroit, John R. King Elementary School and here at The Art Experience.
Renard Small is The Art Experience’s Resident Artist. He uses pattern and form along with intense colors that depict everything from landscapes and wild creatures to colorful patterns that are striking in their use of angular, sometimes symmetrical design. Renard sometimes uses radical perspectives that focus on small portions of larger scenes. There is often a startling moment of recognition when the viewer recognizes the larger scene.