Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating free-exchange book sites. These small boxes have been popping up around Auburn and surrounding towns thanks to this group.
These libraries only follow one rule — take a book, give a book.
The goal of the Little Free Library is to inspire a love of reading, build community and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges, according to the Little Free Library website.
Wherever there are readers, young and old, there are libraries. Little Free Libraries have emerged in more than 90 countries, and have fostered millions of book exchanges each year, according to the website.
There are several locations around Auburn, in front of neighborhoods, churches, schools and homes.
The diversity of books offered is at the mercy of the exchangers.
Anyone can contribute to the collection as long as there is a space to fill in the library. To donate, all one must do is visit a little library and put in a book.
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Library caretakers, called stewards, maintain the appearance of the libraries to ensure they stay open and well-maintained, according to the website.
The Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship uses its Little Free Library to help with Sunday school classes that deal with literacy.
By Our Love is a nonprofit organization focused on local mission outreach in the Ridgecrest Apartments, Auburn’s largest public housing community. The ministry purchased a home adjacent to Ridgecrest, called Our House.
A Little Free Library is stationed on the side of Our House, and is designed for students in kindergarten through third grade to bring and take books, helping improve literacy rates in the area.
“We invite children from the neighborhood over after school to enjoy a healthy snack and get help with their homework,” said René Waldrop, Our House director. “Some of the mothers of our students also enjoy choosing books from the library.”
Waldrop said she sees the impact having a little library has on the children in their community.
“This is a small part of our ministry, but [it] has a big impact on our students and their families,” Waldrop said.
The Little Free Library has impacted more than children and their families. Waldrop said she knows of one resident that uses it to honor her late sister.
“This friend keeps her sister’s memory and love of books alive by keeping our Little Free Library stocked with books of all kinds,” Waldrop said.
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