Take a Book, Leave a Book: Book Kiosks in Scarsdale



The stand on the Brite Avenue Tennis Courts designed by Michelle Foligno

Alicia Xin and Katherine Shi

Across Scarsdale parks, rising senior Danielle Kohn ’21 has installed vibrant book kiosks. The idea behind it is to give residents of the Scarsdale community an outlet to share their love of literature and indulge in a good book. “I’m someone who really enjoys literature and reading, so it was my way of being able to share my passion with my community and allow other people who also have a passion for reading and literature to kind of build a community within a community based around reading,” she explained. 

Kohn was inspired to take on the project when she began seeing kiosks in neighboring towns. She was further influenced when plans for the Scarsdale Public Library’s renovation were announced. Since the library would be off-limits for a few years, installing book kiosks seemed like the perfect way for Scarsdale residents to continue sharing their love of books. 

Kohn had initiated the project two years ago, however placing the kiosks around town required thorough work. “I had to go to a bunch of different boards within the community and get approval from friends of the library and the parks and rec department. Then, I had to secure funding for it and then after I had to find artists who were willing to decorate it,” said Kohn. 

Her plans were finalized in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and unexpectedly yielded positive results. Kohn explained, “It’s a heartwarming thing to have in our community and I think that people have been even more receptive to it than they would’ve been had it come earlier”. After the first few weeks, Kohn already started seeing her impact. “The last time I checked on the kiosk in Scarsdale Village, I saw one book in there with a note that someone had written, saying: ‘this is one of my favorite books, I hope the person who reads it really enjoys it.’ Since they’ve been installed and in use, I’ve definitely achieved my goal of creating something that will foster a greater sense of community within our town.” 

In the future, Kohn plans to install a fifth kiosk, and possibly even more after that. Additionally, she plans to recruit volunteers who are willing to check up on an assigned kiosk regularly in order to ensure everything is running smoothly. 

Although Kohn is graduating from SHS in 2021, her book kiosks symbolize her presence in the Scarsdale community. “This project really meant a lot to me because it was like leaving my mark on my community before I went off to college, so it’s really great for me to know that even after I leave Scarsdale and I’m not physically here anymore, there will still be a part of me left in my community.”