City pro­motes lit­er­acy with lit­tle free li­braries

The Covington News - - The second front - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­news.com

Cit­i­zens in Por­terdale may notice lit­tle dec­o­rated boxes pop­ping up around the city. They’re called Lit­tle Free Li­braries. It’s all a part of an ef­fort to bring more lit­er­acy op­por­tu­ni­ties to the community.

Por­terdale Mayor Ar­line Chap­man said she re­searched an or­ga­ni­za­tion called Lit­tle Free Li­brary on­line af­ter read­ing an ar­ti­cle about a community in At­lanta build­ing book houses. She said the or­ga­ni­za­tion was founded in Wis­con­sin by two men who built book houses in or­der to spread li­braries to com­mu­ni­ties that didn’t have pub­lic li­braries.

Chap­man said af­ter learn­ing more about the group, she im­me­di­ately thought it would be a good idea for the city of Por­terdale be­cause it would pro­mote read­ing and the arts in the city. She said she be­gan ask­ing peo­ple in the community for their help with cre­at­ing the book houses in March.

“I just went around to peo­ple I knew who built stuff and said how about build­ing me one of these,” she said. “I asked some of my artist friends if they would paint them. We have talked sev­eral times about pieces of art and so I thought this was a won­der­ful com­bi­na­tion.”

Chap­man said she would like to put up at least six lit­tle li­braries throughout the city. She said so far, four have been built and three of the book houses have been placed around Por­terdale. When asked why the pro­gram was im­por­tant to the city, Chap­man said she had a pas­sion in cre­at­ing read­ing re­sources for chil­dren in the community.

“I think this project is im­por­tant to Por­terdale for sev­eral rea­sons. Por­terdale has sort of been a for­got­ten place in the big pic­ture. A lot of good things are hap­pen­ing here and in the process of all of this, we still have a lot of poverty here be­cause we have a tremen­dous amount of rental prop­erty,” she said. “We just have a lot of chil­dren here who don’t have the same ad­van­tages of what some peo­ple may have if they lived in a dif­fer­ent place, she said.

“We re­ally need them. I had opened a li­brary in the rail­road de­pot be­cause I felt that there were a lot of chil­dren whose par­ents were not able to get them to the li­brary.”

Chap­man said peo­ple in the community can stock the lit­tle free li­braries with books. She said the goal is for peo­ple to take a book and then leave a book for some­one else to read.

She said any­one can come bor­row and do­nate books.

“My main goal was to put these in our play­grounds, but I want to have them strate­gi­cally placed around Por­terdale so that ev­ery­body is in easy walk­ing dis­tance.”

Chap­man said when all the lit­tle free li­braries are in place, she would like to cre­ate a map to show where they are all lo­cated. She said this would give peo­ple vis­it­ing Por­terdale the op­por­tu­nity to go on a mini art tour.

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