Modern Twist on the Library Helps Community Promote Literacy

When the weather outside is this frightful – it’s a good time to curl up on the couch with a good read.

A modern twist on the library is making finding that perfect book a little bit easier.

Little Free Libraries began popping up all over the nation in 2009, and have just made their way to North Dakota in the past few years.
It’s really just a big mailbox shaped like a schoolhouse, full of used books that are there to be read and replaced by the community.

Leadership Bismarck-Mandan recently decided to place a little Free Library at every elementary school in Mandan… and the kids are ready to hit the books.

“I have shelves and shelves of books. And I read them a lot, and I love them,” says Berlyn Schuchard, Grade 4.

Berlyn plans to share those shelves of books with others now that a Little Free Library is popping up outside her school.

“If you have a book that you maybe grew out of or something, you can give it to the Little Free Libraries, and then take a book that you really would want from there,” says Schuchard.

“We already have our brick and morter libraries. This is just another way for people to be able to have that love of reading shared,” says Amber Larson, Leadership Bismarck-Mandan.

“Here’s how it works. It’s really simple – If you pull up the map on, you can find where they’re located in your city.
I just found this one outside the Old Governor’s Mansion in Bismarck, and it’s actually full of novels for adults as well.”

“It’s not just for children. I mean, there are adult books, the whole family can come enjoy this,” says Larson.

Berlyn has already found a love for searching for that perfect book…

“I read a lot,” she says.

And according to Larson, that love for reading at a young age is one of the more valuable things we can teach these students.

“To be able to actually have a book, and have it travel with you, and have that… I mean, I think it instills this love of reading,” says Larson.

To find a map of Little Free Libraries in your neck of the woods, you can click the link below.

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