Akira’s Book Club Houses- Mini-libraries
Akira's Bookhouse #1
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 ).
Akira's Bookhouse #2
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 Bookhouse #3
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.
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.
Akira's Book House #4
Local artist and muralist, Steven Anderson, painted our ABC House #4. He also illustrated the four books in our Akira Series. He has been providing quality art for brands and businesses for over a decade by transforming both interior and exterior spaces with beautiful art.
Akira's Book House #5
Shomari Smith is a multi-dimensional artist. He takes advantage of every form of media to express himself. Born and raised in Oakland, Shomari majored in illustration while attending the California College of Arts. Shomari’s first love is drawing and considers it his all-time favorite form of expression. You can learn more about Shomari and is work on his website: https://www.shomarismith.net/
This house is also in East Oakland and Shomari Smith is the artist.
Akira's Book House #6
Keith "K-Dub" Williams, Visual Artist, Educator, Mentor, Youth Arts and Sports Activist - For over a decade, K-Dub has been inspiring and investing in Bay Area youth to become actively engaged in building themselves and their communities. He has created and personally financed a movement that fuses visual arts, music, skateboarding, social activism, and community development.
My love for drawing began at 5 years old in a house surrounded by music, theater and literature. Under the watchful eye of my mother, my siblings and I were encouraged to create art, attend theater, museums and explore the world through reading.
My piece for the Akira’s Book Club initiative is dedicated to my mother, Sue Greene. For it is through her love, guidance and unwavering support, that I’ve not only grown up to live out my dreams of becoming a creative professional, but also to never take for granted the importance of utilizing the gift that is literacy.