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Home | Tag Archives: little free library

Tag Archives: little free library

Little Free Library Celebrates Literacy, Canutillo Heights

Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon. The small, front‐yard book exchanges number more than 75,000 around the world in 85 countries — from Iceland to Tasmania to Pakistan.

Now, a new Little Free Library at 805 Phil Hansen in Canutillo will join the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers.

Tim and Lora Holt decided to put up a Little Free Library (LFL) in their neighborhood to encourage not only literacy and reading, but also to encourage neighborhood engagement in the Canutillo Heights neighborhood.

“Our Little Free Library doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to the whole neighborhood.” says Holt. “It’s our hope that this Little Free Library will bring a little more joy, a little more connection and a whole lot more books to our community. Hopefully, over time, the LFL will become sort of a small community watering hole where ideas and books are exchanged.”

Now, their official LFL #84469 is open for anyone to “Take a Book and Leave a Book.”

The LFL was created from an old free newspaper stand, found at the Habitat for Humanity thrift shop in the east side, and painted in a way that was inspired by the bus from the old television series “The Partridge Family” which might have just maybe was inspired by the Bauhaus artist Peit Mondorian. 

The library holds about 50 books at a time for all age levels and all reading levels, and anyone is encouraged to come and explore the book offerings, taking what they want to read, and returning them when done, or replacing them with a book that they bring.

The Canutillo Heights LFL is set up so that anyone can access it. “It is made of sturdy plastic and has a door that springs shut, so it is weatherproof. It just recently survived our rain and wind storms and come through with flying colors.” After only three days, the LFL has already seen ten books taken and 15 books left for others to take.

There are over 50 Little Free Libraries in the El Paso area, but many of them are located inside schools or other public buildings that are closed on weekends or holidays. The Little Free Library in Canutillo Heights is open every day, all day.

The Holt’s encourage people to drop by the LFL to take a book and leave a book.

“There are a lot of LFL’s around the world that are much more beautiful and inspired than ours, but ours belongs to our little neighborhood. I hope, over time, that parents and kids will see the value of their own LFL in our neighborhood.”

The Little Free Library nonprofit organization has been honored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, and the American Library Association, and Reader’s Digest named them one of the “50 Surprising Things We Love about America.”

Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries.

To learn more, please visit littlefreelibrary.org or come by 805 Phil Hansen in Canutillo and get a book for Spring Break. To find a Little Free Library near you, check out the world map of official Little Free Libraries online.

Socorro ISD’s Lujan-Chavez Little Free Library encourages reading, sharing

Lujan-Chavez Elementary placed a Little Free Library outside of its doors to encourage reading, sharing and supplying the community with free books.

“We’ve wanted a Little Free Library for a long time, and we are very proud to finally have one available for our community of readers,” said Lisa Lopez, Lujan-Chavez Elementary librarian. “There are so many benefits to a Little Free Library, starting with kids being able to get books at any time of the day.”

Little Free Libraries are small cabinets that sometimes resemble dollhouses or birdhouses and are filled with books that students can borrow, read and return. They are placed in prominent areas of the school to provide students, parents and community members access to reading materials all year long, including intersessions and the summer break.

Fourth-grade WIN Academy students were first to celebrate the arrival of the Little Free Library at an after school inaugural ceremony.

The students got to borrow and donate books, and heard from children’s author Maricela Garza, who read “Christmas is Always Just Around the Corner.”

Now that the Lujan-Chavez Stars have a Little Free Library at their school, student Rhianna Naurisio plans to visit it every morning.

“The more you read the better because it makes you intelligent,” she said. “Reading is also important because it helps you find out what you want to be when you grow up… I want to be a writer and write big long books.”

SISD opened its first Little Free Library in August 2016 at Campestre Elementary School. Since then, 23 schools across the district have followed with the initiative.

“Little Free Libraries are a visual reminder that SISD schools value literacy and community,” said Marcy Sparks, library services coordinator in SISD. “It’s a public symbol that we want the best for our students every single day, even during the summer and on weekends.”

Donation puts Little Free Library at Ernesto Serna School

Thanks to a generous donation, students at Ernesto Serna School celebrated the opening of their Little Free Library at a special ceremony this month.

“This has been a wonderful experience and we are glad to have partnered with SISD to accomplish the mission of our grant,” said Steven Lane, regional coordinator of the foundation. “The little free libraries have been the greatest part of it all because it puts books in the community.”

The Little Free Library makes books more accessible for children and community members. It was donated by Drs. Steven and Georgia Lane, of the Three Rivers Education Foundation in Farmington, N.M., through a federal grant.

Steven Lane encourages students to read with their family 30 minutes every night so they can become lifetime readers.

“Sometimes families don’t have the finances to go to Barnes and Noble, but this little library will provide them access to high quality literacy all the time,” he said. “Children can borrow a book, and put another in its place, so the little library will never be empty.”

Serna students were excited to read the new books and were ready to make their first book donation.

“I’m happy to have this because we can read at home instead of being on the phone,” Brianna Diaz, a second-grade student. “I was able to donate a book about animals, and I got another book so I could read it to my baby cousin.”

Students, staff and the community are encouraged to continue donating books for the library. The library is located outside of the school near the campus portables and is available for any students in the community.

The foundation also donated Little Free Libraries to Robert R. Rojas Elementary School and Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School.

Video+Story: EPISD Librarian helped Establish 130 Free Little Libraries

Herrera Elementary librarian Lisa Lopez-Williamson is turning the pages on literacy one Little Free Library at a time.

Lopez-Williamson has been a key player in creating more than 130 Little Free Libraries, or LFLs, throughout El Paso. LFLs are small, often wood cabinets that serve as book exchanges in schools, libraries, parks and other public spaces.

Lopez-Williamson installed the first Little Free Library in Texas in 2011 when she was a librarian at Zavala Elementary School. The LFL there gave students more access to books and encouraged reading.

Herrera Elementary Librarian Lisa Lopez-Williamson
Herrera Elementary Librarian Lisa Lopez-Williamson

“I saw an article that said you could have a free book exchange anywhere, and I thought ‘I could totally pull this off at Zavala,'” Lopez-Williamson said. “The concept is pretty simple. You can take a book, but you must also leave a book. It’s a free book exchange based on the honor system.”

Lopez-Williamson received an LFL from co-founder Todd Bol, who created the non-profit organization to support the growing LFL movement.

“That is when it really took off,” Lopez-Williamson said. “Right now, we are at 134 Little Free Libraries here on the border.”

Lopez-Williamson writes grants and seeks donations to continue booking new LFL locations throughout the community. All LFLs have a charter number to track new libraries in the Little Library Network, which numbers more than 50,000 worldwide.

“If you browse the Little Free Library website you will see that you can find them in India, China, Japan, all over Europe and here in the unnamed (39)states,” Lopez-Williamson said. “It’s a great way to share books and increase that sense of community. You’re giving something back to others.”

EPISD schools house 60 LFLs with most recently additions at Park, Rivera, Johnson, Nixon and Bonham elementary schools.

Every LFL is assigned a steward to help keep the library stocked and organized. At EPISD schools, librarians lean on students to ensure its success.

“There are always students that are willing to stay on top of it by making sure it is organized and that people are donating,” Lopez-Williamson said. “The students love them. They love to see other kids get excited about books.”

Second grader Isaac Teran enjoys checking out the Little Free Library at Herrera.

“It’s fun that you can get a book for free, and it’s nice you can put a book that you have from your house and give it to the Little Free Library so another kid can enjoy it,” Isaac said.

Each school puts their own special touch on their Little Free Library. Guerrero Elementary School dedicated its LFL to their librarian Mary Voight, who retired after more than 20 years at the school.

“The students like the idea about being able to share their books,” librarian Annette Schatzman said. “It really helps perpetuate the love of reading.”

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