The Laundromat Library League makes children’s books available to children who have little or no access to books at home. Volunteers place books in laundromats and similar sites in which children and caregivers spend time waiting. Children and caregivers are invited to enjoy a book, take it home, and eventually pass it on to another child.
2022 was a busy year for Laundromat Library League volunteers! 8 new sites added in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida. We hit a milestone in June when 1,000 books were selected, packed and distributed by the LLL in just five days. In March we celebrated Women’s History Month with a special multi-language women-themed book drive. As part of the Juneteenth celebration at the Melton Center in West Chester we promoted literacy and the Laundromat Library League with a book display and giveaway. And as the winter season neared, we made a push to place over 300 holiday-themed books in participating laundromats in throughout the West Chester region.
We are particularly delighted by the growing diversity of ages of our volunteers. Several Malvern Prep high school students adopted sites for stewardship, 40- and 50- something laundromat owners established “read and learn” areas in their facilities, and an array of college students, an 8-year-old Confirmation-prep girl and retirees have assisted in many ways.
In addition to our local book drives, significant grant funding was secured from Justamere Foundation, Constellation Energy, Chester County Community Foundation and the American Association of University Women.
To all who have helped with book drives and behind the scenes collecting, sorting, maintaining the storage area, connecting with stewards, replenishing the placed boxes – THANK YOU! You have touched the lives of many children and families in our communities by sharing a love of reading and adventure.
Laundromat Library League History
AAUW West Chester-Chester County Branch member Arlene Rengert and Karen Iaobucci began the Laundromat Library League in 2014.
There are now over 40 active sites in Southeastern PA, plus satellite sites in 30 states beyond Pennsylvania. In 2015 they received a Literacy Award for promoting reading. The Laundromat Library League is committed to sharing books with children wherever a support group can be established.
Volunteers at Laundromat Library League come from our AAUW Branch as well as local community groups and interfaith religious groups. Volunteers work individually and together collecting, sorting and delivering books. Each volunteer makes his or her own schedule. Each Book Box is refreshed once or twice a month. Groups are encouraged to engage in book drives in their communities.