2018-07-08 / Insight

‘Take a book, leave a book’ at Little Libraries across county

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com


Schickler Elementary was the first LCS depository to be installed in the county. 
Photo by Nicholas Pugliese Schickler Elementary was the first LCS depository to be installed in the county. Photo by Nicholas Pugliese LAPEER COUNTY — Just like a book’s cover, it doesn’t matter their shape or size, the Little Free Libraries popping up throughout the county contain a world of reading — and it’s completely free.

Found outside each of the five elementary schools of Lapeer Community Schools and now, in six more locations including in the townships of Burnside, Hadley, Attica, Lapeer, Dryden and in the city of Lapeer, Little Free Libraries operate on the principle of

“take a book, leave a book,” and each is registered with a nationwide database and shepherded by a volunteer who ensures quality reading material can always be found.

While Lapeer

Community Schools’ version of the now national project began in 2014 with the first self-serve book depository being installed outside Schickler

Elementary, the origins of the idea came from the mind of a man named

Todd Bol. Beginning in 2009 in Hudson, Wis., Bol constructed the first Free Little Library, reminiscent in design to an old-fashioned one room schoolhouse. Inspired in part as tribute to his educator mother and part by the “take a book, leave a book” mentality of coffee shops and other public places, Bol, along with Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, grew the project from its inauspicious beginnings into the international endeavor it is today. There are now 50,000 registered Free Little Libraries around the English-speaking world, in all 50 states and more than 70 countries.

Thanks to a partnership between the Early Childhood/ Kindergarten Readiness Workgroup of the Lapeer County Community Collaborative and the Lapeer District Library, with funding through the Youth Advisory Council of the Lapeer County

Community

Foundation, the six Little Free

Libraries are heading to outlying townships in various sites around the county and will be stocked with books that can be enjoyed as a family.

As members of the Lapeer County Community Collaborative, the Lapeer District Library will be handling the purchase and distribution of the books. “What we hope is to encourage families’ reading together (there will be other donated books for people older than eight in the little libraries) and fostering an element of pleasant surprise and serendipity when coming across one of the LFFs,” said Lapeer District Library Director Melissa Malcolm. “Of course, stocking the boxes with children’s books will give children the opportunity to read in the park or to take a book home.”

Each Free Little Library operates on the honor system, which leads to a constant stream of new books placed inside by visitors, keeping the inventory fresh. “The Little Libraries are a great feature on many fronts,” said LCS Director of Communications Jared Field. “It is great to have people in our community who care as much about reading as we do. These things are popping up all over the country, and we are happy to have them right here in Lapeer.”



Mayfield Elementary’s Little Library is located in front of the school entrance. 
Photo by Nicholas Pugliese Mayfield Elementary’s Little Library is located in front of the school entrance. Photo by Nicholas Pugliese

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