Give and take: Little free libraries offer a chance to read when school is not in session

Published 10:28 am Thursday, April 27, 2017

Students from Conkwright Elementary now have access to new books even when school is out.

That’s thanks to two little free libraries the school’s family resource center has constructed. Principal Julie Bonfield said the idea behind the libraries is to make sure that children have access to books year round.

“It’s here for them in the evenings, on the weekends and during the summer,” she said.

The libraries are two large boxes, shaped like houses and posted just outside the school. Inside they contain books for elementary-aged children of various reading levels.

The libraries stay stocked through a “take a book, leave a book” policy, where students who get a new book from the library are asked to put a book they have already read in to replace it. However, Bonfield said students who do not have books to give are also welcome to get something to read from the library.

The libraries will remain stocked with books all year long.

Conkwright’s libraries are just two of a growing network of little free libraries across the world. According to littlefreelibrary.org, more than 50,000 little free libraries exist in more than 70 countries. The libraries play a vital role in ensuring children have access to books when not in school.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, up to 61 percent of low-income families do not have any books for their children at home.