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Paint a Lending Library Box

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Access Books Bay Area


To sign up for this opportunity, please visit the Access Books Bay Area website and fill out our volunteer form: https://accessbooksbayarea.org/volunteer-opportunity/paint-a-little-library-box/.

In today’s era of distance learning, many schools and districts have been unable to provide access to pleasure reading books to their students, as school and classroom libraries have been temporarily closed for the 2020-2021 school year.

To support these unique challenges during these unprecedented times, the team at Access Books Bay Area is offering public schools in need a wooden lending library book box. Similar to a Little Free Library, these library book boxes are filled with books from Access Books Bay Area’s stock of gently used books for children to borrow and return on the honor system.

The library book box program provides students access to books that they can take and exchange during distance learning, ensuring that they continue to read for pleasure. Once a public school agrees to participate in the project, the following steps are taken:

  1. Volunteers construct, paint, and install the library book boxes in an accessible location on the school’s campus.
  2. Access Books Bay Area fills them with inviting, exciting books and provides stock to the school for refilling the library book boxes when they become depleted.
  3. The school’s personnel monitors and maintains the library book boxes on an ongoing basis.

Want to get involved with our library book boxes program and give back to students in need? Here’s how you can help:

If you have artistic skills and would like to help, you can volunteer to paint one of our lending library boxes constructed by another volunteer. A colorful, interesting looking book box will draw the eye and help guide children to the box, and then to the books inside!

Volunteer sign up form: https://accessbooksbayarea.org/volunteer-opportunity/paint-a-little-library-box/

4 More opportunities with Access Books Bay Area

About Access Books Bay Area


47 Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, US

Mission Statement

Our mission is to level the literacy playing field for K-8 students living in poverty by providing high quality, high-interest, culturally relevant books, and a transformed school library space that invites students to spend time and read. We believe that books change lives, and that for children living in poverty, the school library is the best way to connect children with pleasure reading books. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure is one of the single greatest indicators of future academic success, yet the state of California provides no dedicated funding for school libraries, and many of the schools in the Bay Area have not funded their school libraries for decades, leading to out-dated collections and unattractive facilities. Our organization changes lives by making sure that the school library is an attractive place full of wonderful, interesting, recent, and culturally relevant books that will help them become lifelong readers.


We provide books to low-income schools where approximately 90 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. Most students at the schools we serve are children of color and children of immigrants. Our organization provides brand new, hardcover, high quality books to school libraries and gently used books to teachers for classroom libraries, as well as improving the library space by painting colorful, reading-based murals and providing new comfortable reading furniture.

We complete 2-3 library renovation projects each academic year, each taking place on a Saturday from 9am - 2pm. Volunteers from partner community service organizations collect the gently used books to be donated and provide volunteers for the project day.
We serve school around the bay area, although most of our work to date has been concentrated in the south bay and peninsula areas. We have renovated nine elementary and middle school libraries in high poverty areas to date, and have applications pending for four more, one of which will be renovated this spring.

Since our founding in 2016, we have provided over 5000 new books, and 15,000 used books to schools. We have served nearly 4000 students and their families, have worked with more than a dozen different service organizations, and have had almost 400 volunteers work on our projects.
Arts & Culture
Children & Youth
Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


Your house somewhere in the Bay AreaSan Francisco Bay Area, CA 94301


  • Drawing
  • Painting




  • Driver's License Needed
  • This really depends on how intricate you want to make the box. We estimate that painting a box will take 1.5+ hours, depending on skill and design choice.
  • You may need to pick up the box and/or drop it off, and you will need to provide your own painting materials.

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