The Little Free Library

By: Rosie Brown

The Southern Indiana Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana’s Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC), and NAHS are collaborating to create Little Free Library boxes for the YPC’s annual community service project.

The Little Free Library project began in Wisconsin in 2009, and has spread nationwide, according to LittleFreeLibrary.org. Individuals and groups create weatherproof boxes, place them in spots accessible to passersby, and fill them with books that are free to take and read. The idea is to ‘take a book, leave a book’.

The News and Tribune, serving Clark and Floyd counties, donated its old metal newspaper boxes to be repurposed for new Little Free Libraries. The YPC has raised over $1,000 to fund two, possibly three, new Little Free Libraries that will be placed at specific locations in New Albany and Jeffersonville. The art departments of NAHS and Jeffersonville High School are the chosen designers for the boxes.

“Right now we are working with students and coordinating designs,” art teacher Mrs. Kevin Schultz said. “We’re working on making stencils for the box, and Mrs. Korte is working with her students to make ceramic birds for the top of the box. We are going to be using enamel paints so that it can last being outside.”

Bringing literacy and public art to our community is a goal of the project. “It’s important for NAHS students to know about the project, because in order to enhance the community, all of us have to work together and collaborate to achieve change,” Schultz said.

The NAHS art department strongly encourages students to join in and help out with the project.

“Students are more than welcome to stay after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help on the project,” Schultz said. “Also, bring books for the school book drive.”

The Little Free Library that will be installed in New Albany will be located on 11th Street at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The installation of the Little Free Library is meant to bring books to people in the community who otherwise might not have access to them.

Junior Heli Butala has served on the YPC for two years. She wants NAHS students to know about the book drive collection box in front of the library where books can be donated.

“It [Little Free Library] will promote literacy, and provide books to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them,” Butala said.

Dedication of the New Albany Little Free Library is planned for Earth Day, which is Friday, April 22.

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