Akira’s Book Club Houses (Mini-libraries)
We are proud to announce that Akira’s Book Club is joining the free mini library movement! Many of you have seen these mini free libraries in your neighborhood but did you know that there are in all 50 states, in 91 countries, and on every continent except Antarctica. According to the article 10 Little-Known Facts about Little Free Libraries by Margaret Aldrich, Todd H. Bol built the first Little Free Library in 2009, as a tribute to his mother who had passed away.
Akira’s Book Club’s goal of facilitating literacy among young children, particularly children of color who lag behind in reading across the nation, is a perfect match for mini libraries. Research shows that having books at home helps our children become better educated. Children not only are helped in their reading skills, but having books also encourages language development and provides children the opportunity to learn about others outside of their immediate environment and can spark their imagination.
All books in our libraries are for pre-K thru 3 rd graders. Some books are new, and others are used. Each tells a story and/or presents new information and hopefully will stimulate curiosity and learning. We encourage those who see the libraries to take books for their children, grandchildren or any children they know who would benefit from being read to, or by reading the books. We are not asking folks to put books in the libraries. We will replenish them as books are taken. If you’d like to donate to help create more Akira’s Book Club libraries and get more books to include in them, there is a QR code on the front of each mini library that will take you to our website (www.akirasbookclub.net ).
The mini libraries will be painted by local artists whose information will also be on our website. We are so excited to join the free mini library movement. We will post pictures and updates as we move forward in the process of building our mini libraries.
The Akira’s Book Club family is so very excited to share that we have installed three Akira’s Club Houses. These mini-libraries contain books for children from pre-school to third or forth grade. They are intended for families with children of this age to begin and continue to create language rich home environments. You can take books home with you with no strings attached. If you want to leave a book in this age range for others you certainly can, but there is no obligation to do so. Our mini-libraries are placed in front of homes or organizations that are committed to curate them but keeping them filled with books. These first three are located in Oakland, Richmond, and San Jose.
Akira’s Book Houses and Artist
Each of the Akira’s Book Club Houses will be painted by talented local artists. The artist will be featured on this page as their painted mini-libraries are installed. Our goal is to install 52 over the next couple of years. Akira’s Book Houses #1 and #2 painted by Jhsiri Emerson Massey who goes by Siri Seiko. She is Akira’s older sister! She is a multifaceted artist and entrepreneur from Oakland, California. Her main mediums of art are ceramics and music. Siri graduated from Humboldt State with a BA in Arts Education. She chose art education because she loves working with people and creating a positive experience through art. She believes that art is healing. Siri shares that art often created an escape for her which is something she’d like to do for others when they see her projects.
Akira’s Book House #3 painted by Francisco Ramirez
Francisco Ramirez (@fco1980) is a self-taught artist from Mexico who was raised in East San Jose. His first memory, in fact, being scribbling on his mom’s walls. His preferred medium is acrylics but he has a diverse portfolio including watercolor, sculpting, murals, and tattoos. His art is equal parts magical realism, Latinx culture, dark and lightness, often fixating on human anatomy to explore multiple identities and intersectionality. Francisco has been featured in many San Jose based events like “San Jose Day and "Conscious SJ Festival” with recent commissions including the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 100Block SJ, Artbox Project SJ and Eastridge Mall. Francisco just hosted his first solo show at Art Ark Gallery this passed October.