Little Free Library Is Disseminating Banned Books in Florida
Venables Bell + Partners is helping Little Free Library disseminate banned books where they're probably needed most: In Florida.
Duval County, to be precise. A campaign video explains the "Unbanned Book Club" (catchy!). A chonky little flipbook tells viewers that book-banning—historically frowned upon, but oddly trendy these past few years—only ignites people's curiosity. And it's curiosity that book banners seek to destroy, but ultimately can't.
The clip implies that if institutions can no longer freely offer a nourishing diversity of literary perspectives, that's where something community-led—like Little Free Library—should step in.
"An unprecedented number of books have been banned and challenged in America in recent years, silencing authors with diverse viewpoints and eliminating the chance for readers to feel seen and represented in their stories," explains Greig Metzger, executive director of Little Free Library. "At our core as an organization, we are book lovers who believe deeply in the power of books to share unique ideas and perspectives and ultimately enhance our human experience, understanding, and appreciation for one another. The Unbanned Book Club aims to keep these voices and opportunities for connection alive."
HarperCollins and Penguin Random House donated over 500 currently banned or challenged books to the initiative. The volumes will be distributed via Little Free Library's network of book exchange boxes, starting in Jacksonville. Distribution will be managed with 904WARD, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing Jacksonville community inclusion.
Duval County (of which Jacksonville is a part) has so far seen 150 books banned or challenges in schools over the past two years. Thirty states permit similar restrictions. Duval County community members who want to help distribute the banned books could soon score one of 200 custom kits, which include two banned books and branded materials. (Keep up with the details on Little Free Library's website.)
"A core mission guides The Unbanned Book Club: When they ban books in schools, we un-ban them in the communities," says Byron Del Rosario, VB+P's group creative director. "With schools now out for the summer, there is an opportunity for local communities to embrace all literary voices and perspectives. This issue is vitally important, and we are honored to help make this initiative happen."
People who'd like to join the movement's can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A dedicated website on Booksio is also selling a selection of the banned/challenged books. Fifteen percent of proceeds go to Little Free Library.
Little Free Library has booksharing boxes in 120 countries, all managed by volunteers. Since 2009, over 300 million books have been swapped through its network.
Non-Profit: Little Free Library
Greig Metzger, Executive Director
Sharon Gifford, Director of Corporate Partnerships
Margret Aldrich, Director of Communications
Shelby King, Director of Programs
Scot Wirth, Director of Operations
Talia Miracle, Program Manager
Dan Sheridan, Product Operations Manager
Agency: Venables Bell + Partners
Will McGinness, Chief Creative Officer
Brittni Hutchins, Chief Growth Officer
Byron Del Rosario, Group Creative Director
Ryan Hoercher, Associate Creative Director
Breauna Abiad, Copywriter
Haley Renschen, Art Director
Pakkavadee “Polly” Graham, Designer
Dani Saputo, Senior Designer
Hilary Coate, Head of Integrated Production
Lexi Alaga, Integrated Producer
Madeline Fox, Associate Manager, Production/Post Operations
Christine Tom, Business Affairs Manager
Brandy Kennedy, People, Experience and DEI Manager
Michelle Wells, Art Production Lead
Jennifer Trull, Senior Studio Specialist
Jason Bridges, Video & Audio Editor
Destiny Thomas, Social Strategist
Luke Davisson, Animator
Sam Tarde, Executive Producer
Steven Cross - Colorbar Graphic Construction - Flip Book Printer
Nancy Swan - Touchstone - Kit and Swag Vendor