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Colorful Book Spines

Compassion Through Literature 

A multipronged, communitywide project about You, Me, and Us to increase understanding and inclusion among our neighbors by discussing and sharing literature. 

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Frequently Asked Questions List

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If the obligation of the stewards will be to maintain the little libraries both inside and out, including their diverse book inventory, what does “maintaining the library inside and out” involve?

For the physical condition of the libraries: the libraries are a gift, as well as an impression of the Little Free Library and Positive Charge! PDX organizations. We want to be sure the physical condition of the libraries are maintained in a respectful manner. If the door breaks, if it is defaced, if it needs some touch-up paint, there is someone available to provide the TLC necessary to keep it looking and functioning nicely.



What does it mean to maintain a diverse book inventory?


The intention of the project is to encourage people to read, share books, and learn about people who are not like them. People who are like You, Me, and Us. People in our families, our community, and our world. Different from a generic little lending library with books about all topics, the Compassion Through Literature libraries are used for sharing books, stories, and poetry about the lives of all races, religions, gender identities, family structures, financial statuses, physical and mental challenges, cultures, traditions, and more.

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What is the cost involved for the stewards?


The little libraries, the posts, the set of 200 diverse books, and registration with the Little Free Library organization are all free, as well as the Compassion Through Literature sign, bookmarks, and other items from Positive Charge! PDX. From the time of the initial distribution of books through the months where more are distributed, people visiting the little libraries are encouraged to add more. The idea is that the libraries are lending libraries, "take one, gift one", so that their inventories are maintained. Registration with the Little Free Library organization offers several opportunities for deeply discounted books and book giveaways. Stewards can also purchase books through bookstores, thrift shops, or other places, Stewards can also find and encourage others to drop off their used diverse books through their Nextdoor and Facebook Buy-Nothing pages.  Book drives are great too!  There are many creative ways to maintain the inventory in the libraries!


Are the library books returned after people read them?


These libraries are used to share books with people, expecting they will be returned to someone’s little library, but not necessarily your own. Unlike the regular libraries where people check books out and return them, the little library books are available for people to take, read, and even put back in another little library somewhere else. Perhaps someone reads a book and gives it to their neighbor to read, and the neighbor mails it to their brother across the country, they read it, and then he puts it in his own little library. It’s all about reading and sharing.

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Do people ever add other items to their libraries besides books?


You could add other things to your library that your audience may need (canned food, toiletries, paper goods, seeds to plant and gift to a local food pantry), even painted kindness rocks, all under the theme of kindness, giving, tolerance, and compassion.

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  • Commitment to curate books in my Compassion Through Literature (CTL) library that amplify diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

  • Willing to connect people with a wide variety of value and belief systems to materials that represent multiple points of view.  Consider books for multiple age groups.

  • A good resource manager.  Culling excess books that do not meet the purpose of a diverse library.  Maintaining a solid back stock of diverse books for regular rotation in the library.


  • Continue to read diverse books, have an open mind, and learn what it means to be a diverse books librarian/steward.


  • Be creative in promoting and attracting readership.


  • Register my library with the Little Free Library (LFL) organization before November 15th, 2022 (instructions will be provided).


  • Place my Little Free Library in an accessible location to the public.


  • Encourage the public to visit the LFL libraries through social media platforms, community communication, and through various activities.


  • Maintain a “like-new physical structure” of my little library, inside and out.


  • Ask questions and seek advice and tips through the LFL’s Steward-only Facebook page and my CTL liaison, should I need assistance.


  • Communicate any events regarding our LFL to CTL and its liaisons.


  • Notify Positive Charge! PDX, if I move or am unable to maintain my CTL library.

  • Encouraged to send a photo of my library each quarter to the Compassion email address for ongoing CTL promotions and features in the Positive Charge! PDX newsletter and website.

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Steward Commitments

Film Reel

Meeting Recordings

29 September 2022  Stewards Welcome! Meeting

05 January 2023 1st Quarter Steward-Liaison Happy Hour

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