YEREVAN—The first official Little Free Library in Armenia was installed in Yerevan at 80 Aram Street on July 21. It was the first of 15 libraries that will be installed in Yerevan, Ashtarak, and other parts of the country, as part of a project called Little Free Libraries in Armenia.
Initiated by Laurie Alvandian and Nina Romá Agvanian, the project aims to provide free public access to books and information through the placement of miniature outdoor libraries throughout the country. The libraries are free and open to everyone and operate on a “take a book, leave a book” system: At any time, people can either take books from the library or place books in the library for someone else to read. While books of all languages are accepted, donations of Armenian books are especially encouraged.
“We want people to start reading more, to get involved in community projects such as this one, and to have free access to information. This library belongs to the community, and we hope that the community takes care of it, keeps filling it with books, and really values what it represents,” said Alvandian.
The project was funded by Birthright Armenia/Depi Hayk, of which both Alvandian and Agvanian are alumni. The libraries were built by Four Peaks Landscape + Architecture.
The concept of the Little Free Library began in the United States in 2009 and is now a non-profit organization with more than 25,000 officially registered libraries in over 40 countries around the world. “We knew that this organization existed and that people were building these little libraries all over the world, but we also noticed that there were no registered libraries in Armenia,” said Agvanian. “We decided that we had to bring this project here.”
Readers can find out more about Little Free Libraries in Armenia and keep up to date with the installation of libraries throughout the country by visiting their Facebook page.