Little libraries coming here

By on March 26, 2014

Finding a good book to read just got a little bit easier.

The Junior Friends of the Ephrata Public Library, a group of local teen library advocates and volunteers, are kicking off their latest public service project with the help of Art of Recycle.

The group is building Little Free Libraries that will be placed at various locations throughout Ephrata. These structures will house a number of books for all ages and will operate on a “Take a Book, Leave a Book” policy.

Mr. Nobody Special, director at Art of Recycle, an area non-profit that promotes creating art with re-used materials, said he was approached by Rebecca Zinner of the library about the project.

“She said we would love to do this, but we don’t have the resources, we don’t have a workshop,” he said. “And we (Art of Recycle) have a fantastic little wood workshop here in the back that we can create stuff like this.”

So the two decided to team up.

“We actually do a lot of projects with the library,” Chelas, volunteer coordinator, said, adding two more projects are coming up in the future. All the projects are done with recycled materials.

Art of Recycle is located at 27 North State St. and has been there two years. Its mission is to heal and grow community, according to Mr. Nobody Special. This is the first project they are doing in downtown Ephrata for public art.

“We take unused community resources and create art with purpose for the community,” said Chelas. “Our whole intent and purpose is taking materials that were thrown away, because everything is recycled, and creating things that have purpose in the community.”

Junior Friends constructed the Little Free Libraries. They attended two workshops held at Art of Recycle to build, paint and decorate them.

“They are also supplying the books for the initial launch,” Mr.Nobody Special said.

The Little Free Libraries will be located at: The Rails to Trails, GraterPark, EphrataCommunityHospital, The Ephrata Review, Art of Recycle and JavaTeas. JavaTeas is constructing their own library.

“The Junior Friends always work to promote reading and the Ephrata Public Library, but instead of simply trying to bring people to the library, they also wanted to deliver books directly to the community,” said Zinner in a press release. “This will be a another way for us to serve the public even if they are unable to visit the library building itself.”

Anyone can have a Little Free Library and Mr. Nobody Special anticipates that more will pop up throughout the community.

“You can stock the books yourself and put it in your home or in your front yard if you want to,” said Chelas.

You can also register the library in the Little Free Library network for a cost of $34.95 and then anyone in the country can search it out. Simply go to littlefreelibrary.org and register.

The Junior Friends hold several fundraisers throughout the year, including their annual chicken barbecue, taking place May 10. Tickets are $5 for a half chicken and all proceeds go to projects sponsored by the Junior Friends. Tickets can be purchased at the library’s circulation desk.

For more information on the Junior Friends and the Little Free Library initiative, visit the library’s website at ephratapubliclibrary.org.

For more information on Art of Recycle, visit its website at Artofrecycle.org.

Dena Reedy is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at dreedy.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4434

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