Picador and The Reading Agency in 'birdhouse' library project

Picador and The Reading Agency in 'birdhouse' library project

Picador and The Reading Agency are donating 12 branded “birdhouse” libraries to locations across the UK to mark the release of Mobile Library by David Whitehouse.

The Picador Little Library campaign will see 12 librarians, one in each of the Reading Agency's 12 UK library authority areas, host a mini-library outside their homes for an initial period of six months, after which the librarians will be able to carry on with the library if they wish.

During the six months Picador will donate 10 books or proofs each month to each library.

Lucie Cuthbertson-Twiggs said: “We really hope that the Picador Little Libraries will capture people’s imaginations and remind them of the joy you feel when discovering and sharing a much loved book. This is also a wonderful initiative to encourage communities to engage more with their local libraries; this has been the case with a similar initiative that has run in America.”

Whitehouse’s Mobile Library follows four people who take to the road in a stolen mobile library.

The author said: “Libraries are forces for good, no matter if they’re big or little. In an age where we share everything, even when we shouldn’t, then above all else we should share books and knowledge and information and imagination. These little libraries will do all of these things in new and unusual places, meaning they’ll reach people other libraries might not have. I can’t think of a better, or indeed other, reason to hang out in a librarian’s garden.”

The mini-library boxes, modelled on those in a similar scheme from America, will have a clear Perspex door which each month will have a new sticker explaining the project and how to get involved online.

Picador will also sometimes place samplers, postcards and other point-of-sale material in the Picador Little Libraries.

The publisher aims to generate local press coverage for each new book included, and the campaign will also carry on online, on a Picador Little Libraries page on the Picador website.

A hashtag will also be created that will be put on the libraries so when people pass it or use it they can tweet about it.

Users will also be asked to leave their testimonies about the library they have used, why it is important to them and a short review of the book they have read.

Mobile Library is released on 15th January, and the Picador Little Libraries will be in place shortly after release.