DIY Mobile Library

Civic Circle® Area: Donate

The impact of COVID-19 continues to change our daily lives and routines, but volunteering and civic engagement are just as important as ever. This project can be modified to adhere to social distancing guidelines set by local and national authorities, to do virtually or to do at home and deliver via mail or drop off.

DIY Mobile Library

The Department of Education found that the more students read for fun on their own time, the more likely they were to score higher on reading tests. Many families can’t afford to buy books or do not have a library near them. Help encourage reading by creating a DIY Mobile Library.

Pre-Project Discussion:

  • Why might some people not have access to books?
  • Why is reading books important?
  • How does creating a Mobile Library address the issue of literacy?

What You Need:

  • A large sturdy box
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Decorative items to include such as newspaper clippings, buttons, pipe cleaners, frames, lace, stickers, yarn, chalkboard contact paper, etc.
  • Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer
  • Enough gently used books to include in your library


  1. Create a plan detailing what you would like to do with your Mobile Library and how you would like it to be used. Consider the following items before beginning your project:
  • Location: Create a list of potential locations for your library. This can be your front yard, a school, a religious institution or even outside of a supermarket.
  • Rules: Create a set of rules for those who will be using library. For example, you may decide to implement a “take one, give one” book policy. Every person that takes a book from the library must replace it with another book.
  • Upkeep: Decide on how often the library will be checked on to ensure things are tidy and borrowers are following rules. You may decide to share this responsibility with multiple people.
  1. Once you’ve created your plan, get started by selecting your final location from the list of possible locations. Regardless of where you decide to house your DIY library, make sure to ask permission — even if it’s from your parents.
  2. Decorate your box. Make sure to include the rules you decided on. Have fun and make it bright and colorful.
  3. Spray a layer or two of Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer to protect your box and make it weatherproof.
  4. Put the books inside and take it to the location. Others will be so excited to use your Mobile Library!

Reflection Questions:

  • Who has benefited from your Mobile Library, and how?
  • What are your plans for your Mobile Library in the future? What can you do to make it even better?
  • How does the Mobile Library project reflect your dedication to community service and making the world a better place?
Download The DIY Project PDF