Girl Scouts' Big Effort Results in Little Libraries for Chapel Hill
Thanks to a year-long effort of some local Girl Scouts, area residents will soon encounter books in unexpected places. In conjunction with National Library Week (April 12-18), Troop 3064 will install Little Free Libraries at four locations, culminating with a public ribbon cutting and celebration. The public is invited to Community Center Park, 120 S. Estes Drive, at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, for the installation of the Little Free Library there, and then to the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive, for a reception and celebration at 6:30 pm.
Little Free Libraries are small structures that contain books for the community, who are encouraged to “take a book and leave a book.” The Little Free Library movement started in Wisconsin in 2009 and has since grown into a world-wide network of community-based book exchanges that promote reading and sharing. To learn more about Little Free Libraries, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org
Troop 3064 has worked together with their parents and sponsors to design, build, and stock four Little Free Libraries for Town of Chapel Hill facilities: the Transit Operations Center, 6900 Millhouse Road; the Aquatic Center, 300 Northern Park Drive; the South Estes Housing neighborhood; and the Community Center.
The troop, comprised of area sixth and seventh graders, has worked on the project for the past year. For their Bronze Award, they collected books to stock the libraries. With the building and installation, they will earn their Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, and the second highest overall. During the project, the girls worked with staff from the Chapel Hill Public Library, Parks and Recreation, Chapel Hill Transit, as well as the Town’s departments of Housing and Community, and Planning and Sustainability.
Troop Leader Melissa Barry says that the experience has been educational for all involved. “Together, the troop has learned about asking for donations, basic carpentry, Town departments, and more,” she said.
Chapel Hill Public Library Director Susan Brown, who served as the point of contact for the Town, says that the project has been fun. “The girls met with me and staff from several Town departments, and we were all impressed by their determination and dedication to this project,” Brown said.
On Thursday, April 16, the troop will officially dedicate each Little Free Library, beginning at the Transit Operations facility, where the library will have books for Transit staff to enjoy. They will proceed to the Aquatic Center, where the library will be stocked with books for all ages that might be attending a swim meet or enjoying a day at the park. At the South Estes Housing neighborhood, the Little Free Library will contain books for the kids who live there. The Little Free Library at the Community Center Park will be stocked with a variety of books for the many age groups that enjoy the park. While the libraries should work on an exchange basis, the girls have committed to maintaining them and checking to make sure they are stocked for the future.