The University Press of Florida (UPF) has unveiled a new Little Free Library, installed this week at the Repurpose Project in Gainesville. The Little Free Library organization, celebrating Little Free Library Week May 14‒20, was founded to help build community, inspire readers, and expand book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led book-exchange boxes. UPF staff are proud to contribute to this vision by partnering with the Repurpose Project on the latest addition to Gainesville’s network of Little Free Libraries.

UPF staff will stock this Little Free Library with books published by the Press on a variety of topics such as Florida history, literature, music, nature, photography, cooking, and gardening. Many of these books might otherwise have been discarded, returns received by the Press that cannot be resold. UPF staff wanted these books to reach readers who could enjoy and benefit from them. The Little Free Library will enable the Press to serve the community by rehoming these and other informative and useful books. Visitors to the library are encouraged to take a book and/or leave a book of their own for other readers to enjoy.

The UPF Little Free Library was constructed by Jim Bishop, a staff family member. It is made almost entirely of reclaimed material collected and refurbished by Bishop. The sides of the library feature “book spines” hand-painted by staff which replicate the designs of books published by the Press. The library structure was painted and prepared for installation by a team of people at UPF who are excited to help the Press connect to its community through the library.

A creative reuse center that houses local programs, initiatives, and events, and located next door to UPF’s editorial offices at the University of Florida’s East Campus, the Repurpose Project is an ideal host for the UPF Little Free Library due to its close involvement with the Gainesville community and its focus on diverting resources from the landfill. The Little Free Library will be accessible for anyone to use during the Repurpose Project’s business hours. Visitors to the Little Free Library can also browse the Repurpose Project store or plan to attend an event at its community center. In this partnership, UPF and the Repurpose Project will promote literacy and lifelong learning for Gainesville residents.

See the stages of the Little Free Library’s assembly and installation below.

Founded in 1945, the University Press of Florida produces exceptional books for students, scholars, and general readers, fostering discussions about research and ideas that matter in Florida and beyond. The Press has published over 3,000 books to date and currently releases approximately 70 new titles each year. From transformative scholarship to engaging, authoritative information on local history and culture, UPF endeavors to bring works of global significance, regional importance, and lasting value to readers everywhere.

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