LIBRO LIBRE: Red urbana de intercambio de libros

Making reading more accessible and bringing communities together through a fun network of street libraries that organises book swaps and promotes community reading.

The Local Challenge

Like many cities, Córdoba faces significant educational and social challenges, particularly in marginalised areas where residents have limited access to quality education and literacy resources. Libro Libre has been providing free book access via 30 street libraries throughout the city, with a specific focus on the suburbs and areas with fewer traditional library resources. The goal is to promote reading as an agent of change and ensure access to books for the whole community – helping to level the playing field by providing knowledge and education to all, regardless of socio-economic status. 

 

 The Initiative  

Thanks to the Europe Challenge initiative, Libro Librethe brainchild of the Andalusian cooperative El Alambre Cooperativa – is expanding its physical book exchange network to different neighbourhoods. It is also increasing the number of books and collaborating with other local organisations to make sure the book exchange spaces become dynamic cultural hubs where neighbours gather for shared readings, cultural initiatives and community activities, including knitting circles with read-alouds and festival-themed events. This grassroots approach gets books into the hands of those who are most in need while encouraging community connection across different generations. 

 

What’s Next?

Libro Libre aims to make citizens more proactive by maintaining a free book network and encouraging the sharing of books and cultural activities in public spaces. This initiative benefits the whole community by making books more accessible to everyone – cultivating a sense of belonging through shared stories and experiences. Cultural mediators are at the heart of the initiative, ensuring a constant supply of quality books, connecting neighbourhood hubs with local champions, and fostering community collaboration to maintain these literary oases. As well as building community cohesion, the initiative is also supporting the circular economy by promoting sustainable book reuse and putting Córdoba on the map as a book-friendly city. 

 

This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact theeuropechallenge@culturalfoundation.eu if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

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