LSC-Kingwood builds mini library

Foundation mini grants support innovative projects

The Lone Star College-Kingwood English Department had piles of books with no permanent homes.

This inspired faculty to partner with the engineering department to create the Little Free Library. Located outside on the Science Instructional Building patio, the newest campus structure has a simple motto, "take a book, leave a book."

"Our bookshelves were overflowing with books professors and others no longer wanted. We didn't want to throw them away, so we decided to create a small library," said Dr. Sampada Chavan Dalvi, an English professor at LSC-Kingwood.

English students shared their ideas with the engineering graphics class in an online community group, who, in turn, researched designs, sketched preliminary concepts, and created a plan in CAD. Doug Turner served as their technician, using their drawings to build the library.

"Engineers design and technicians build. Our students were able to get a taste of the white-color engineering design side of projects," said Dr. Jamie Turner, an engineering professor at LSC-Kingwood. "Additionally, our introduction to engineering students helped set up and volunteered at the grand opening, where we gave away hundreds of books, courtesy of the Kingwood and Atascocita public libraries."

The Little Free Library committee used a $500 mini-grant to pay for building supplies such as plywood, edging, hardware, plexiglass, posts, varnish, shelving, roof shingles, air vents, fan, solar panel, battery, chalkboard, guestbook, and decor. It has the following features:

  • a chalkboard on the back and side
  • assorted bookshelves with air vents to accommodate a wide variety of book sizes
  • an air roof and solar panel mount with the college's logo
  • an attic shelf that holds batteries, fans, and wires
  • brackets and side shelves that hold decorative items, and
  • school supplies, and a cup filled with affirmations that students can take on their way to class to perk up.

Mini Grant funding from LSC Foundation and the Chancellor's Office provides small grants to LSC employees looking to improve the student/community experience, streamline processes, or experiment with new technology. More than 40 projects were awarded this past year from seven campuses and system office.

The engineering/design team members are Catherine Thomas, Bruno Samame, Elmer Moran, Garrett Stevens, Griffin Billings, Corbin Whitaker, and Blake Rossen.

"Starting this fall, we will host monthly themed events for various topics. We would love to receive ideas from the campus community," Dalvi said.

The Little Free Library at LSC-Kingwood is open to employees, students, and the community. For more information, to suggest themes, or donate books, email

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