For the love of reading: Final mini library installed in Peace Plaza
Tuesday marked the ribbon cutting for Peace Plaza’s very own mini library. This little library was erected as a product of the Rochester Mini Library Program.
"We chose literacy to be our focus this year," said Rick Decker, co-chair of the fundraising committee for LGR. "When we were looking through all our research out there about literacy, we found something as simple as access to books has a huge impact on literacy in the community. With that, we decided the mini library project was the way we wanted to go.”
Throughout Rochester, they've installed 40 mini libraries that resemble small white houses on mailbox posts and provide a watertight space for 10-20 books at a time. Various community members around the city volunteered to host these mini libraries in their front yards.
“In 2014, with the help of a grant from the Rochester Public Library, over 4,000 books were distributed to mini library hosts,” said Audrey Betcher, director of the Rochester Public Library. “Because of LGRC’s efforts, we expect this number to significantly and dramatically increase in 2015.”
The goal is to provide reading material for residents — and youth in particular — who would otherwise lack regular access to the Rochester Public Library’s services due to geographic, lingual or financial barriers.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, LGR presented the library with a check for $20,000 to help continue the efforts of increasing literacy in the community.
Afterwards, Mayor Ardell Brede read the children’s book Misty of Chincoteague “grampa-style” on a stool in front of a small crowd of children and their parents.
“Anything we can do to encourage our youth to read . . . that is so rewarding and enriching to them,” said Brede.
Betcher concluded with a statement on the social benefits of the mini libraries: “Mini library hosts have reported again and again that they meet their neighbors and they feel safer in their neighborhoods because of the mini libraries . . . We are committed to sustaining this project.”
You can find a mini library near you on the map below, courtesy of the Rochester Mini Library Program.
About Sydney Flottum: Sydney is a double major in graphic design and English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She enjoys being back in Rochester for the summer and spending time reading, drawing, and catching up with friends and family. Currently, she’s attempting to teach herself how to play the accordion but is overwhelmed by all the buttons.
(Cover photo: Sydney Flottum / The Med City Beat)