After his mother died, Todd Bol wanted a way to honor her. A bibliophile and teacher, she loved encouraging people to read. What did Bol, build a library...a mini one. Take a look at this video.
The concept is simple:
1) Build a weatherproof box.
2) Put said box in public area.
3) Put books in box.
4) Hang up a sign: "Take a Book, Leave A Book."
So far there are pop-up libraries in 28 states. They not only encourage people to read, but also create community in the process, something perhaps lost in the internet era (or done differently). When one pops up, everyone gets together. It's a community event. It makes our neighborhood interesting. While perhaps overly optimistic, can you imagine what this can lead to in areas lacking bookstores, libraries, etc? Areas where reading is perhaps not a priority (besides writers and teenage girls, is reading a priority to anyone?)
Of course, the type of people who would have time to do these projects would be middle-class suburbia (most of the pictures on the site don't look like inner cities, or rural farm lands, though one can't tell for sure), leaving out areas where access to information is difficult or where one isn't encourage to read. But perhaps if we do our parts in these communities, we can see some changes: mainly a reading population (as opposed to data that show that America is a place of declining readership)
Summer project anyone?