Posted in Community, General, Union Memorial School

Little Free Libraries!

Ever heard of Little Free Libraries?

UMS students with the Colchester's first-ever Little Free Library
UMS students with the Colchester’s first-ever Little Free Library

A Little Free Library is, according to the Little Free Library website, a “gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories … a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.”

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To clarify, this means that books can be taken home and then later returned and/or shared with friends.

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This book exchange reaches around the globe (click here to see a map of the worldwide locations!), and now, with the generous help of community members, Union Memorial School is joining the network!

The Little Free Library on the Union Memorial School playground is open to the entire community
The Little Free Library on the Union Memorial School playground is open to the entire community

Colchester community member Angie Ferenc, who has two children at UMS, coordinated the donation—including the construction and delivery—of the Champ-themed book storage shed to facilitate the Little Free Library, which is located on the UMS playground and is open to the entire community.

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“I saw a Little Free Library in Essex and researched a bit more about them,” she said. “I was inspired by the grassroots effort around it, and I approached Principal Chris Antonicci and UMS librarian Judy Flanagan about it, and they were both enthusiastic.”

“I can picture kids visiting our playground on the weekends with their parents and taking a break from running around and sitting and reading,” said Judy Flanagan. “The gazebo seems perfect because there are benches to sit on.”

UMS art teacher Colleen Derry—with the help of her students—creatively painted the library.

UMS unveiled the Little Free Library—which appears to be the first Little Free Library in all of Colchester—to students at a school-wide assembly on October 1 and to the community at its Open House event on October 3.

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“It is more than just a little library,” Angie said. “It promotes literacy, it encourages low-tech entertainment in a highly technical world, it builds a stronger sense of community by giving and sharing with those who live around you, and because it is a form of recycling, it is also a green practice.”

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Donations of favorite books are always welcome. The Little Free Library belongs to everyone in the community … and as a result, how well stocked it remains depends upon the community.

For more information, please call UMS at (802) 264-5959, or you may visit the Little Free Library website or see this Seven Days article about Little Free Libraries.

To learn more about the libraries in each of your schools and to learn more about many resources that libraries offer, please click here to read a past article about them.

And to learn more about Colchester School District’s literacy programs, please click here to read our five-part primer about it.

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