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5000+ Books Donated.

4100+ Books Shelved.

4116 Books Cataloged.

(See more data. . .)

The Storefront Library Online Catalog via LibraryThing allows you to browse and search the collection. (Please note that we are still working to enter Chinese language materials into the catalog—all English titles have now been entered.)

A majority of these books were donated by individuals who donated gently-used titles from their own collections. Some people purchased new books from our wish list. Several publishers, book stores and libraries contributed from their stock. See a list of all donors here.

Borrow books at the Storefront Library

library-card-artworkIn response to your requests during the first week of operation, Storefront Library staff created a circulation system so you can borrow books in the collection. 84 linear feet of shelving were added to accommodate fiction and other genres appropriate for borrowing. Volunteers worked during closed hours to implement a simple, efficient record-keeping system, created in less than a week. Lee Moreau donated design of a new Storefront Library Card. You can now sign up for a Storefront Library Card and borrow up to three titles for two weeks at a time. Signing up for a card takes 5 minutes, and it shows your support for the Storefront Library.


How did we choose the books?

Boston Street Lab consulted with librarians from the Boston Public Library, who encouraged us to actively curate the Storefront Library’s collection to have the most impact, as well as the most value for any planning that might be done for a future library.

With this in mind, two Boston Street Lab interns from Simmons’ Graduate School of Library Science and Information consulted with Jane deBros, librarian for Chinatown’s Josiah Quincy Elementary School. Ms. deBros recommended specific titles that will be of particular interest to the youth in the Chinatown community. She also recommended a focus on “browse-able” material for adults, such as reference and other non-fiction books, poetry, newspapers and magazines. These materials are more likely to be read and used in the Storefront Library, where collections will not circulate, and will also be of interest to adults who are supervising children. To identify recommended “browse-able” materials, we’ve reached out to local book stores, magazine distributors, and other Chinatown libraries for advice. [Update: book donations to the Storefront Library were so numerous that we began a circulation system during our second week of operation.]


The Storefront Library is still accepting donation of Chinese and bi-lingual books for adults, and picture books for children. Please visit our donation page.