In December, 2011 The Detroit Public Library Commission voted to close four branches of the city library. Some library-loving Detroit 4th graders decided to take matters into their own hands and fight back.
The 4th grade class at Detroit’s Marcus Garvey Academy, with help from University of Michigan instructor Melanie Manos, designed an alternative library for their community. The students built and installed waterproof bookcases for their outdoor library and set-up in front of a shuttered local library branch. After an outpouring of local support, the kids created five more free outdoor libraries. Each operates on the honor system and is sustained by donated books.