Share Tompkins

Share Tompkins helps folks share and trade goods and services in Tompkins County, NY.

Archive for the tag “books”

Teresa and Jeremy Installed a Little Free Library!

Teresa and Jeremy, active participants in the Share Tompkins community, just installed a “Little Free Library” in front of their house! It’s an awesome way to share books with your neighbors. Here’s what Teresa has to say…

Little Free Libraries

The Little Free Libraries were started in Wisconsin in late 2010 as a way of promoting literacy and community through the use of small, publically accessible book exchanges. When my husband and I recently went back to Wisconsin for a friend’s wedding, we found ourselves charmed by the variety and number of Little Free Libraries in our old neighborhood, and decided to bring a little of that magic back to Ithaca with us.


We spent some time thinking about how to build a weathertight yet accessible little box, but after looking at the plans available at their website and considering our meager construction skill, we decided to buy one made from recycled materials. However, someone with more time and ability than me could certainly put one together in a weekend or two from any combination of found, recycled, or purchased materials. Most of the ones we’ve seen are about the size of a small laundry basket, with a door to keep out the elements. One of the cleverer designs I’ve seen is actually the next-nearest Library – a repurposed phone kiosk just outside Syracuse University’s Library and Information Science department. Photo here


We live on a busy street with a fair amount of foot, car, and bike
traffic, so we didn’t need to look farther than our own front yard. But other libraries are located in a wide variety of public and private places – outside of businesses, homes, and schools.


We’re book fiends, and always have a stack of books to be passed along to other readers. Our Little Library is new, but I hope that it will become a neighborhood resource for exchanging beloved titles.

If you’d like to browse the Library and trade some books, or if you want a library of your own and want to see it in person, please stop by 1039 Hanshaw Rd. to check it out!


March 24: Book Swap Co-sponsored by the MLK Community Build

Share Tompkins and the MLK Community Build are co-sponsoring a community book swap!

Thursday, March 24, 6-8pm
The Kops/Klock/Muller Household
322 South Geneva St., Ithaca, NY

-Drop off books in readable condition or better, and swap them for books that are new to you.

-Sign up for a spot to recite your favorite poem or read an excerpt from a special book during Literary Open Mic time.

To make swapping super easy, we are trying out the process of swapping like for like:
Give a paperback, get a paperback.
Give a children’s book, get a children’s book, etc.

Also available will be FREE copies of the special edition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” printed specifically for the people of Ithaca and Tompkins County through the vision and efforts of the MLK Community Build.

Children’s book donations will be accepted for distribution to the Family Reading Partnership’s Bright Red Book Shelf program, which recirculates gently used children’s books back into the community where they are made available free for families to own.

Usually we ask that unwanted items be taken back, but in this case, all leftover books will be donated to the Family Reading Partnership and Friends of the Library.


RSVP on Facebook

Buffalo Street Books and the Big Community Buyout

Every time a much-loved bookstore or cafe closes, I always wonder, why didn’t they tell anyone? Why didn’t anyone know until it was too late to help?

Well, Buffalo Street Books is in trouble, and they’ve reached out the community. And guess what happened? The community is responding.

Check out Buffalo Street Books gets new hope: $110,000 bolsters community buyout idea in the Ithaca Journal, and contact the bookshop to get involved!

New resources: Free books & video games, neighborhood borrowing groups, and a parents’ swap network

We’ve added a lot of new sharing, bartering, and free stuff networks to the ever-growing Resources Guide. Here’s a peek at the new ones – has anyone participated in any of these networks? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

  • Sharing Is Giving – a directory of sharing/freecycling mailing lists, seed exchanges, and garage sale finders; several Finger Lakes groups are listed
  • FreeUse Network – local message boards to facilitate sharing (none listed for this area as of Sept. 2009)
  • BookMooch – earn borrowing points for giving away your books to folks in the network (by mail, not local-oriented)
  • Swaptree – list your books, CDs, DVDs, and video games, and get a list of things you can trade for them; choose your items and print postage (usually less than $2.50) directly from the website to ship the ones you’re exchanging; you can also choose to swap only with local people, coworkers, or friends to avoid shipping
  • Zwaggle – a points-based trading network for parents and children – “You receive Zwaggle points (or Zoints) by giving your gently used things to other families, then use those Zoints to obtain “new” things for your family.”
  • BorrowingCircle – small local networks of neighbors who share with each other; you can borrow three items at a time
  • neighBORROW – “The site provides members of local networks access to a collective online catalog of the items they each own individually.”
  • BookCrossing – 804,645 people in over 130 countries giving books to strangers by leaving them in public places. “What happens next is up to fate, and we never know where our books might travel. Track the book’s journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person.”
  • PaperBackSwap – “We help members Swap, Trade & Exchange Books with each other for Free… Every time you mail a book to another member, you can request one for yourself. Choose from 3,941,266 available books!” (not just paperbacks)

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