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Little Free Libraries inspire love of reading

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Ever wanted to be a librarian, but couldn’t see dedicating years of life to a library science degree or don’t have enough time to volunteer?

Being the steward of your own Little Free Library might just be the answer. A Little Free Library is a free-standing all-weather box, typically under two feet wide, that allows people to take one of the books stored and leave a book in return.

As of November, there are over 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 countries. On Tuesday, June 20, former Camp Verde vice mayor, woodworker and repurposing advocate Bruce George showed how to construct three Little Free Libraries at Camp Verde Community Library.

The following Tuesday, George returned to demonstrate how to paint the libraries.

“They’re all cut out, so we’re going to get them all built,” George said, making use of his laptop to visit the Little Free Library website, which offers explanations about construction and maintenance of the libraries.

George and library Director Kathy Hellman encouraged responsibility over maintaining and operating the Little Free Libraries, offering the three up to participants and recommending they be placed in local neighborhoods.

George is no stranger to the demands of library stewardship himself: Last year, after seeing the project advertised in a woodworking magazine, he installed a library at the gazebo adjacent to the Camp Verde Historical Society building.

Recently, someone tore off the library’s door, prompting George to replace it.

“We try to add books to it whenever we can,” George said. “I’m always advocating for more books for it.” Camp Verde library’s Carson Ralston said, “Millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds” through Little Free Library, inspiring the love of reading, building communities and sparking creativity.

For more information about becoming a steward of one of the Little Free Libraries, contact Ralston at CVCL at 554-8391.

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