Free Book Box Project Ready for Takeoff

Education and Literacy

This fall, you will find free books in more locations across the county.  The Cochise County Library District will hold an unveiling event on Monday, October 23, to introduce their grant-funded Free Book Box project to the community.  The event will start at 10 am, at the Valley View Community Center (6849 Arizona 92) in Hereford.


The goal of the Free Book Box project is to establish a collection of ten Free Book Boxes throughout Cochise County, where community members can access, borrow, and contribute free books.  The emphasis is on community gathering places in rural areas that are not near existing library locations.


Each Free Book Box will include a variety of books for adults and children, in English and Spanish.  This project differs from other “free little library” projects because of its scope.  The boxes themselves are much bigger than most little libraries, and the Library District expects to house and distribute several hundred books from each box.  Free Book Box book collections will be replenished on a regular basis.  Community members are welcome to donate books for the Free Book Boxes, and return books after reading them, but there is no requirement to do so.


Locations have been selected with input from community members, area libraries, and community partners.  The first three locations, opening in fall 2017, are the Valley View Community Center in Hereford, the Mustang Mountain Shell and Food Mart (2222 N. Highway 90) in Whetstone, and 3856 S. Towner Avenue in Naco, near the Port of Entry.


Each Free Book Box is decorated by a Cochise County artist, in some cases assisted by students or community partners.  The Free Book Box in Hereford is offered in partnership with the Palominas Elementary School District, and decorated with help from first grade students at nearby Coronado Elementary School.  The Whetstone Free Book Box was painted by artist Linda Truelove, and will be maintained in partnership with the Huachuca City Library and the Friends of the Huachuca City Library.


The next round of Free Book Boxes will be placed in McNeal, Dragoon, and San Simon, with additional locations to come.

The Free Book Box project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

The opening event on October 23 will feature a visit from Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan, Palominas Elementary School District Superintendent Marylotti Copeland, and the first-grade artists who helped decorate the Free Book Box.


“We are very excited about this project,” said Cochise County Library District Director Amadee Ricketts.  “The library district was honored to receive grant funds from the Arizona State Library this year, and project coordinator Karen Fasimpaur has helped us build the community partnerships that will make the Free Book Boxes a lasting success.”


The public is invited to the Free Book Box unveiling at the Valley View Community Center in Hereford on Monday, October 23, at 10 am. 


Look for project details and updates at  If you would like to support the project, or you have questions, please contact Amadee Ricketts at 520-432-8935 or