No more Reading is Fundamental (RIF). No Problem…Solution found! Zavala Elementary School received a “little” surprise at no cost from the Little Free Library’s founders, Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, who co-founded the Little Free Library movement together, a nonprofit organization that is comprised of dedicated volunteers, avid readers, and library supporters. They build and spread bird house look-a-like little structures that house free books for communities to share and enjoy. The main concept is to take a book and return/donate a book, in other words, a book swapping program that teaches the value of recycling and sharing! This ingenious idea of instilling a love of literature and community-based responsibility has been spreading across the globe at an unprecedented rate. You can learn more about it by visiting the Little Free Library website.
At Zavala, we have just received the generous donation of an authentic Little Free Library, which will be placed outside our campus for the entire school community to use. When I first learned about the Little Free Library movement, I decided to purchase a makeshift LFL and make it into our own without asking for permission. As a librarian, I knew that this was a big no-no and so I asked for permission to borrow the idea. To my amazement, I was not only given permission to start my own, they also agreed to donate one for free! The makeshift one will be placed indoors but will surprise students for it will never be stationary. I plan on changing its location frequently so that everyone has equal access. The LFL team wants to build and spread more than 2,500 LFL’s throughout the globe, more than Andrew Carnegie’s libraries. We are the first in Texas to establish them at our campus and this has guaranteed us a spot on Google Maps. Hope you all join the LFL craze as well! I also want to share our El Paso Times newspaper article which was distributed on 12/21/2011. Also, I compiled a video using Animoto of everything we have done to celebrate these little structures. The Little Free Library website has actually posted our video on their website!
...Reading is Fundamental will no longer be supplying our schools with free books. This literacy initiative will always supply books where there is a need.
Since we started using the Little Free Libraries in December, the things I have noticed are an increased excitement for books. Parents have been stopping by more often so as to donate and take free books home. We have even received some donated books from a lady in Sugarland, TX who while vacationing for Christmas in New Mexico, read our El Paso Times article and felt a need to ship us some books! The LFLs main intent is to make books accessible at no cost or obligation to return them; except to donate books so as to continue recycling and sharing. In our case, this has been a blessing since Reading is Fundamental will no longer be supplying our schools with free books. This literacy initiative will always supply books where there is a need, plus instill a great sense of ownership and community.