Central City New Orleans Little Free Library Campaign
Organized by: Greg Cartwright
It's been nearly ten years since Katrina struck New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. And, in that ten years, New Orleans has come along way. Help us celebrate the rebirth of one of greatest cities in the world by helping us reach our goal of seeing more than 24 little free libraries in Central City New Orleans.
Central City is home to thousands of our friends and neighbors, and is both an historically important and culturally vibrant part of New Orleans. Jazz legends Buddy Bolden, Kid Ory, and King Oliver have all called Central City home as have many other important musicians including everyone from Professor Longhair to Bo Dollis of the Wild Magnolias to rapper Juvenile and dozens and dozens of others. Central City is home to several Mardi Gras Indian tribes – a uniquely New Orleans cultural phenomena -- who mask and parade in second lines, on St. Joseph’s Day, Mardi Gras day and Central City’s annual Super Sunday where tribes from around the city meet to show off their new suits. New Orleans rap and bounce music emerged from the CJ Peete/Magnolia projects in Central City and is testament to the enduring musical and cultural importance of our part of the world.
But there is another side of Central City, too. The area has one of the highest murder rates in the country, more than half of the households in Central City have average annual incomes below $20,000, and more than 30% of our adults residents have less than a high school education. So, while we have seen a tremendous renaissance in Central City since the levies failed, we have a long way to go. We think that seeing dozens of little free libraries spread throughout this historically important neighborhood is a great way to continue the progress and build on its storied past.
Currently, there are three Little Free Libraries in Central City, but there's lots of room and interest for dozens more. For around $100 we can build, install, stock and register (with littlefreelibrary.org) a library usually with recycled or reclaimed materials. We've seen first hand how a library can bring an entire block together, forge relationships over books, and serve as important visual markers for neighborhood pride. With your help, we can expand on our early successes and spread literacy, a love of books and community involvement far and wide.