Step 1: What Is Upcycling? Why Is It Important, How Do I Get Started?
The first step in organising the library is to begin by doing some research on upcycling.
The most important thing to understand is why it is necessary to upcycle and how you
and your team can get started! You can find all the information you need for your
research from the Web, also here are some examples to help guide you. It is always an
added benefit to continue your own research:
Step 2: Make a Plan!
It is important that all team members are actively involved in the planning phase of the
project to produce the upcycled library. It is essential that each person knows what their
role is in the team and what their input to play an active and rewarding addition to the
team. The teams can be as big or small as you like it will depend on how many people you
can engage. Make sure that the work is split fairly between each of the team members
and the work is suitable for each persons’ ability. As part of the plan, take some time to
brainstorm, this exercise always helps to build team spirit, that is when the ideas flow.
Some questions that you can ask to get started could be. What do you want the upcycled
library to look like? Where will you gather the materials from? What challenges do you
envisage and what mechanism will you put in place to deal with them? How long do you
think it will take you to do each of the tasks? As the teams come together an important
question will be when you want to have the library up and running and be accessible to all
the people in the community. It is always a good idea to allow enough time for little
things to go wrong that might delay the opening day. Some things you might find helpful
for this step is researching how to manage a team and how to plan or brainstorm.
A few links have been set below to help you begin your research, but make sure to do
some of your own research to help the team:
Step 3: Spread the Word!
While you are going to be creating an upcycled library for your community, it is important
to spread the word that the library will be a new community facility and accessible to
everyone who would like to use it. From the previous step you should have picked a date
in which the library should be accessible. You and the team should make sure that people
know when the upcycled library will be opening and is available so that they can visit and
support this amazing new outlet for creativity. So, for this step you should come together to decide how you should advertise the opening of the new library. There are numerous
ways to do this, you could design a big colourful informative poster, you could do a
leaflet drop or have social media event, or even use Tik-Tok or Instagram to spread the
word online. If you use something like Instagram or Tik-Tok, why not make it about
sharing your adventure, adding photos or videos as you progress through the tasks. The
choice however is down to you, to make your decision easier, you could research
different methods of advertising your event and see which suits the team best.
For this task, we recommend that you split up in your team and together you can make a
plan for how you will estimate the costs for all the work you are proposing, and all of the
supplies you will need for the renovation project. By sourcing reuse- able or recycle- able
materials you will cut the cost drastically while also saving the environment. Try to
consider all of the resources that may be needed to fix-up your chosen area.
Some links have been provided again to help you on your way:
Step 4: Gather the Materials!
In the same way that you cannot make a cake without the ingredients, you cannot make
your upcycled library without the materials. Therefore, you will need to research where to
find the materials you need. The local recycling centre is a good place to start or your
local charity shop/thrift store, or even asking friends and family if they have any items or
materials that they do not want anymore, and you could recycle. Another good resource
for finding things is using an online listing website to search for local ads.
Another interesting part of this research will be to learn where to find the books and
other interesting articles you will need to fill your shelves with and encourage bright
young and old minds to come in and read and borrow. For this step you will need to use
your researching skills! Do not be afraid to also make your own books/comics/magazines
maybe from recycled paper or cardboard. You could even use your recently acquired skills
on upcycling and innovation to encourage other to do the same.
By creating a prototype of how the area could love with a little TLC, and by explaining the
benefits that young people will reap from these improvements, you and your team can
make a strong argument for why this area deserves to be renovated!
Step 5: Upcycle!
Now that you have gathered all the materials you need for the library and have all your
research done, you should be ready to get started on upcycling all the necessary
components for the new upcycled library. A large part of this step involves researching
and understanding different ways to make the many different parts of the project needed
to achieve the overall objective. This is where you and your teams can be creative.
However, you will need to research the skills and techniques in depth to ensure that you
use the upcycled materials to their full advantage.
You will also need to research or use your own artistic talent to make bookmarks or other
little trinkets that will work well in the library. Locating the materials for this part will
come with a bit of creativity. Do not be afraid to get creative and think outside the box,
practically anything can be used to make an interesting bookmark.
Finally, the biggest part of this task is researching how to make a bookcase for the library.
This is where you can let your imagination run wild, with a little bit of guidance and a little
bit of ingenuity, you can have a fabulous new shinny library in your community that
everyone will love.
Links have been provided for ideas on how to make bookshelves from scrap pallets,
cardboard or even suitcases! So, enjoy being creative:
Step 6: The Grand Opening!
At this stage you should have most of the components you need for your upcycled libraryassembled, with all the books that you have gathered or made, presented in alphabetical
order and looking well in your upcycled bookcases/shelves. As you have had a major
ongoing advertising campaign to promote the opening of the library, people will be
excited to come and visit it. There could be a suggestion from your team that a
contribution is required from the public on entry, so that you can donate any money
raised to a local charity or to a recycling project to help others. You could also sell your
handmade books, comics and bookmarks and use the contributions to help charities or
your local community.
First you need to plan and host your event, and for this the following links will be useful: