You’ve seen them around town, those over-sized bird houses filled with children’s books. That’s a Little Free Library. The concept is simple. You take a book, or bring a book to share. In this way, communities can share their love of reading, and circulate their favorite stories and novels. It’s sort of like having a literary treasure chest open to all.
At a recent news conference at the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), Little Free Library has announced that they’re giving away 100 Little Free Library houses to U.S. Police Departments. The hope is to connect law enforcement officers with the children in their neighborhood. The giveaway is part of the non-profit’s Kids, Community & Cops Program. The hand-crafted wooden book houses usually cost anywhere from $150 to $1,000, depending on the size.
Also at the news conference, Minneapolis police officers build Little Free Libraries for their communities, and MPD unveiled two squad cars which will serve as the nation’s first “Mobile Little Free Libraries. The officers will use the squad cars to share books with neighborhood kids. Some Minneapolis bike cops are already involved in keeping their local Little Free Libraries stocked with books.
“Reading is such a powerful tool and books represent an incredible way to empower our youth and reach out to them in a positive way,” said Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “As we aim to connect with our community members outside of crisis calls, I believe these mobile Libraries will give the MPD another great bridge to help us connect.”
Police Departments across the USA are encouraged to apply to receive one of 50 standard Little Free Library units, or 50 mobile Little Free Libraries. Click here to apply: littlefreelibrary.org/impact-apply-police. This wonder offer is made possible in part by the Lawrence Grauman Jr. Trust.
“We’re excited for police and their communities to connect through reading and hope this program helps foster strong relationships,” says Little Free Library creator and executive director Todd H. Bol.
Kids, Community & Cops is active nationwide in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Los Angeles, where every LAPD precinct has a Little Free Library and officers host story-times for kids.