Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

Storytelling, Bookmaking, and Community Literacy

The work PLCE does is inherently bound up with stories; hearing them, telling them, reading them, and identifying with them. We also understand that stories are subject to matrices of power that dictate who gets to tell their story, whose stories get remembered and believed, and whose stories are deemed valuable. We believe that every one of us contains stories, and we want everyone to be able to tell their stories and access stories that matter to them knowing that both are powerful acts that will be remembered.  

Volunteer demonstrating DIY books to a student at a bookmaking booth

Current Projects and Initiatives


This project gives young readers, authors, and illustrators a chance to add their stories to the shelves around them by making their own books. Having a real, tangible book emphasizes to students that their words are worthy of being published and read, and that they have something to teach other kids and grown-ups alike. We all benefit from students’ voices being amplified; we all stand to learn from their inclusion amongst our trusted texts.

Unearthing Literacy

The Unearthing Literacy Project engages with members of our Philadelphia community to learn more about the ways we learn from and teach others outside of the classroom. Through this project we hope to highlight informal literacy practices and stories that paint a broader picture of what literacy means (beyond the degrading binary of “literate” and “illiterate.”)

Watch a video about this project

Read more about these efforts