A new community street library outside a pharmacy in Walsall offers free books and a place to sit down and read.
The Chuckery Little Free Library, which was created by local people as part of our community street design project, features a bench and cupboards of donated books outside A. Karims Pharmacy on Kinnerley street.
The library was designed by scout group 12th Walsall and built by local carpenter Jamie Begg of Seed Furniture. The walls were decorated with a mosaic, painting and planters, created by people in Walsall with the help of local artists Sophie Handy and Elizabeth Fisher.
A space for people to stop and chat
There have been lots of donations and people enjoy sharing the books with each other.
“ There have been lots of donations and people enjoy sharing the books with each other. ”
Pharmacist Nazmeen Khideja (Naz) said she likes the fact that people often meet and catch up in the pharmacy and she wanted to offer a community space which would encourage them to stay.
“People often stop to have a chat and I thought it would be great to have a bench outside so they can continue their conversations. The little free library allows people to sit down have a rest and a chat, and take away a book to read.
“The front of the shop gets a lot of sun so it’s a nice place to sit and wait for the bus.
"This is a densely populated area and very mixed in ages and culture, so it’s good to get people out of their houses and talking to each other in the streets.”
A more sociable street helps to bring the community together.
Project Co-ordinator for Pocket Places for People, Chloe Booth, said:
“Local people wanted more colour, art and planting on Kinnerley street. They were inspired by the idea of a Little Free Library, which is popular in America, as a way of getting people together on the street and sharing books that might be of interest to your neighbour.”
We’ve had lots of great donations, with a vibrant mix of books.
“ We’ve had lots of great donations, with a vibrant mix of books. ”
Our work in Walsall is one of a series of community street design projects across the UK which use creativity and design to create calmer and more pleasant streets.
These streets then become more attractive places for people to walk, cycle, use public transport or stop and get to know their neighbours.
Parks, plants, and places for people
Based on a concept first developed on the streets of New York, our urban designers use simple interventions, such as pop-up outdoor cafes, plants and temporary art installations to calm roads and encourage people to reclaim streets as public spaces.
We have also run community street design projects in:
- Stockport (Manchester)
- Garston (Liverpool)
- Peckham (London)
Find out how you can reduce traffic in your street.
Our community street design project in Walsall is funded by the People Health’s Trust using money raised by HealthDesire through the Health Lottery, and local government.