Blighted magazine rack becomes Richmond alley’s ‘Little Free Library’

Blighted magazine rack in Richmond becomes 'Little Free Library'
Photos by Mike Kinney

by Mike Kinney

A Richmond alleyway that has been rehabilitated with ample help from local community members now has its own Little Free Library.

Community organizer Cesar Zepeda created and donated the library station. The city had planned to toss out the old magazine rack, as it contributed to blight, he said.

“It was dirty, full of graffiti, beat up,” Zepeda said. “So I took it, painted it and figured why not convert it to one of the free little libraries that you see around the city.”

Cesar Zepeda

He added, “Now the community will have a place to go in and check out books for free, or be able to put books in.”

The library was Zepeda’s latest contribution to the alley beautification effort behind Portumex Restaurant at 721 23rd St. that has drawn dozens of volunteers and contributions from local businesses. The once blighted alley is now more inviting, newly paved with added color and lighting, thanks to the so-called Xochitl project.

RELATED: Volunteers sought for next phase of alley beautification near 23rd Street



  1. What a great free library! Nice work!

    The city should encourage “Free Library” stands all over the city and in all neighborhoods. Get rid of the blight and focus the community on expanding their knowledge.

    Have a contest and get kids to read books and do a 1-2 min “presentation” of anything they liked about the book at library or at City Hall with the Mayor on the weekend. Get those young leaders motivated. Each week they can be entered to win something small.

    Get your kids out of the street and reading. What’s good for the vocabulary is good for the brain and good for the soul.


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