LFL Press and Media Info

CAPITAL GAZETTE - 22 Nov 2020

The Rotary Club of Annapolis, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Parole, and the City of Annapolis held a dedication ceremony on Wednesday at Truxtun Park to celebrate the establishment of Little Free Libraries (LFL) throughout Annapolis.

The goal of the project is to provide free books in convenient locations at self-contained book-sharing kiosks throughout the community so residents can enjoy reading and obtain books for their own homes. Each LFL is stocked with free books from 13 genres donated by Books for International Goodwill, the Parole Rotary’s international project, which distributes books around the world.

The Phase I dedication recognizes the establishment of 20 LFLs located along the West-East Trail and in other locations throughout the City. Each LFL is sponsored by a volunteer Rotarian and other community members.

Five of the libraries are dedicated to books for children and installed alongside an adult LFL. Nature Sacred has sponsored four of the libraries for children. Volunteer “librarian teams” of two will stock and maintain each LFL.

People are encouraged to “Take a Book. Keep a Book. Share a Book.” Each LFL is dedicated to an historic or influential person from Annapolis, the state, or the nation.

With the installation of these LFLs, the Annapolis LFLs will be officially registered with www.littlefreelibrary.org and become part of the world-wide network of LFLs bringing reading to millions. What distinguishes Annapolis LFLs is that readers are encouraged to keep the books as a gift from Rotary.

Dona Rudderow Sturn, LFL Chair, was inspired to bring the LFLs to Annapolis and said, “We are committed to bringing the joy and power of reading directly into our communities.”

Phase Two of the LFL project intends to bring books inside community centers, and Phase Three contemplates a County component. For more info, to see the location of the LFLs, and to learn who each library is dedicated to, see annapolisrotary.org/little-free-library.

"Dedication" Press Release - 18 Nov 2020

Announcement Dedication Attendees: Mayor Gavin Buckley, City of Annapolis; Dona Rudderow Sturn, Chair LFL Project, Rotary Club of Annapolis; Frank Andracchi, President Rotary Club of Annapolis; Archie Trader, Dir. Annapolis Rec & Parks; Erica Griswold, City of Annapolis Community Outreach Support Navigator; Kristi Neidhardt, President Rotary Club of Parole

 

For Immediate Release

Anne Myers, Annapolis Rotary Public Relations, 410-303-3003; myersbusiness@comcast.net

Dedication of Little Free Libraries: November 18

Annapolis, MD (November 18, 2020) The Rotary Club of Annapolis, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Parole, and the City of Annapolis held a dedication ceremony on November 18, 2020 at Truxtun Park to celebrate the establishment of Little Free Libraries (LFL) throughout Annapolis.

In keeping with healthcare protocols, attendance was limited to a few individuals. Representing the City of Annapolis were Mayor Gavin Buckley; Adetola Ajayi, African American Community Services Specialist; Archie Trader, director, Recreation & Parks; and Rodney Dillard, division chief, Parks & Facilities. Attending for the Annapolis Rotary were Frank Andracchi, president; and Dona Rudderow Sturn, Little Free Library Chair. Attending for the Parole Rotary were Kristi Neidhardt, president; and Steve Frantzich, Books for International Goodwill.

A community-wide dedication and celebration will be held in the spring or as soon as conditions allow.

The goal of the LFL project is to provide free books in convenient locations at self-contained book-sharing kiosks throughout the community so residents can enjoy reading and obtain books for their own homes. Each LFL is stocked with free books from 13 genres donated by Books for International Goodwill, the Parole Rotary’s international project, which distributes books around the world.

The Phase I dedication recognizes the establishment of 20 LFLs located along the West-East Trail and in other locations throughout the City. Each LFL is sponsored by a volunteer Rotarian and other community members. Five of the libraires are dedicated to books for children and installed alongside an adult LFL. Nature Sacred has sponsored four of the libraries for children. Volunteer “librarian teams” of two will stock and maintain each LFL. People are encouraged to “Take a Book. Keep a Book. Share a Book.” 

Each LFL is dedicated to an historic or influential person from Annapolis, the state, or the nation. With the installation of these LFLs, the Annapolis LFLs will be officially registered with www.littlefreelibrary.org and become part of the world-wide network of LFLs bringing reading to millions. What distinguishes Annapolis LFLs is that readers are encouraged to keep the books as a gift from Rotary.

“We are all looking for diversions these days,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “What is a more fun diversion than being transported by a good story? I’m glad that Rotarians are dedicated to bringing little libraries to our community and keeping them stocked. I’m also thankful for the City’s role, with Recreation and Parks crews installing the LFLs.”

Dona Rudderow Sturn, LFL Chair, was inspired to bring the LFLs to Annapolis and said, “We are committed to bringing the joy and power of reading directly into our communities.” Over time, the LFL Committee will provide Rotary with useful reports on the usage of the LFLs in Annapolis.

Residents discovering the new LFLs are enthusiastic. A young reader, encouraged to keep his book, told his mother, “I can really keep this!” His mother was glad, saying, “Thank you, thank you so much.” Another reader asked, “Can you bring some more Star Wars, and can I take books for my grandmother at home?” With this start, the LFL project is on track to be a success for young and older readers alike.

Phase Two of the LFL project intends to bring books inside community centers, and Phase Three contemplates a County component. For more information, to see the location of the LFLs, and to learn who each library is dedicated to, see www.annapolisrotary.org/little-free-library.

  • Rotary’s Motto is “Service Above Self”     -

"Annapolis Partnership" - Capital Article Aug 2020

CAPITAL GAZETTE - 25 Aug 2020

Several Annapolis groups band together for 18 little libraries along trail to encourage more reading

By JACK HOGAN  CAPITAL GAZETTE 

AUG 25, 2020 AT 12:00 PM

Photo of the "Little Free Library" in front of the Pip Moyer Recreation Center. More "Little Free Libraries" are being placed along the WEE Trail. Recreation and Parks built the library in front of the rec center and, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Annapolis, the mayor's office and Little Free Library, will be building the new ones. (Jeffrey F. Bill)

In an effort to combat lower reading rates across the country, several Annapolis groups have partnered to make free books available to Annapolis residents with 18 weatherproof little libraries.

Annapolis Recreation and Parks director Archie Trader said the libraries will be built between the end of August and the beginning of September in parks and communities along Mayor Gavin Buckley’s envisioned West-East Expressway, which would connect Waterworks Park to the Historic District.

The libraries will be roofed square boxes, not much larger than a milk crate, standing atop a wood post. Trader said the department will place the little libraries in areas along the envisioned trail that children and their parents frequent, such as parks, to encourage reading. The project is helmed by the Annapolis Rotary Club with other partners.

“If you’ve ever been into a house where there’s no books, no magazines, no newspapers, it is a terrible thing,” Trader said. “I’ve been in houses like that, and it discourages children, or does not give children incentive, to read.”

Leisure reading in the U.S. declined between 2004 and 2018, according to reporting from The Washington Post. The Pew Research Center reported in 2019 that more than a quarter of U.S. adults hadn’t read a book at all in 2018.

Dona Sturn, one of the founders of the Annapolis Rotary Club’s Breakfast Group and organizer of the project, said the 30 to 40 books in each little library will be free for anyone to access. “The objective was, how do we put an influx into our community of books so that people could keep them and build on their personal home libraries,” Sturn said. The project, which Sturn said she first brainstormed two years ago, was scheduled to begin in March but was postponed because of the pandemic. Taking objects touched by others is also a new concern due to the pandemic.

Community members will be advised to wipe down books before bringing them inside their homes to mitigate the risk of transmitting the coronavirus, Sturn said.

Anne Arundel County health officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman said if community members take necessary precautions, including leaving hardcovers untouched for three days and paperbacks for one day, risk of transmission from bringing books from the little libraries into their homes is “extremely low.”

Sturn said the rotary club’s project will use Little Free Library’s brand and platform but will differ from the international organization’s mission. Little Free Library promotes the exchange of books through its 100,000 libraries in more than 100 countries, according to its website. The rotary club’s goal is for community members to keep the books they take.

Recreation and parks installed a little library in front of Pip Moyer Recreation Center three years ago when Trader became head of the department. He said the little library is restocked every two to three months, adding that it would be restocked more often if members of the community refrained from returning books they took.

The Books for International Goodwill warehouse, founded through the Rotary Club of Parole, will provide books in English and Spanish for the program from its daily donations, which total between 1,500 and 2,000. Organization president Steve Frantzich said the warehouse had donated roughly 1,000 books of a variety of genres to the project as of Monday.

The Rotary Club of Annapolis is in the process of developing an app that will log which genres are most popular. If a certain genre at a certain location is especially popular, the rotary club will fill that box with more of the desired genre. Having data to draw from will also help the rotary club apply for grant money to grow the project, Sturn said.

The 18 little libraries will be placed at 14 different locations along the envisioned trail, including Poplar Park. Adetola Ajayi, African American community services specialist for the mayor’s office, said the city chose locations near both low-income communities and more affluent areas to encourage reading among people of different socioeconomic backgrounds. The libraries will be monitored and refilled every few weeks to ensure each maintains between 30 to 40 books.

Four of the locations will feature both children’s and adult book boxes. Each of the boxes will be dedicated to a deceased influential member of the community, including Annapolis activist Robert Eades and young people killed by violence, Ajayi said.

The rotary club divided its project into three phases. In phase one, recreation and parks will install the 18 little libraries in areas along the envisioned trail. Phase two will include installing little libraries inside city community centers and in phase three the rotary club aims to extend the project to other areas of the city and county, including the grounds surrounding Walter S. Mills-Parole Elementary School, Trader said.

The rotary club has raised more than $12,000 of its $20,000 goal for phase one. Four little libraries for children’s books were donated, and 11 of the 14 remaining little libraries have been paid for through sponsorship from organizations and members of the community.

Sturn said it costs $500 to sponsor one of the little libraries and the rotary club is searching for sponsors for the remaining three. Each one that isn’t sponsored will be paid for by the rotary club. Sturn said at least 10 little libraries are also available for sponsorship as part of phase two.

 

Jack Hogan is a news intern at The Capital and a rising senior at the University of Maryland, majoring in journalism with a minor in international development and conflict management. He's also written for the Greenbelt News Review and The Campus Trainer, an on-campus publication at UMD.

"City Partnership" Press Release - 12 Aug 2020

For Immediate Release

Anne Myers, Annapolis Rotary Public Relations 410-303-3003; myersbusiness@comcast.net

Little Free Library Project Expands With City Partnerships

Annapolis, MD (August 12, 2020) - The Rotary Club of Annapolis and the Rotary Club of Parole’s Books for International Goodwill (BIG) have teamed up with the City of Annapolis Mayor’s Office, City Recreation and Parks, and City of Annapolis Police Department to support the Annapolis Little Free Library (LFL) project.

A LFL is a free-standing, weatherproof mini-library in a box that is stocked with books that are free for anyone to “take a book, keep a book, or share a book.” Each LFL will be initially stocked, then restocked with more books from BIG as its contents are depleted.

The Rotary Club of Annapolis is seeking several two-librarian teams (generally to include one Rotarian) to keep each LFL maintained and stocked.

Plans call for Mayor Gavin Buckley to dedicate the first LFL in August. In Phase One, Annapolis Recreation and Parks will install more than 14 LFLs over the summer in Robinwood, Truxton Park, Third Street and Back Creek, Poplar Park, Ellen O. Moyer Park, and other areas to bring books and reading directly into communities. In Phase Two, LFLs will be located inside community centers.

Fourteen of the first LFLs will be filled with general books for all ages. Four additional LFLs, sponsored by the TKO Strong Foundation, will be specific for children and installed alongside an adult LFL.

LFL locations can be found at www.annapolisrotary.org/little-free-library. Each LFL is dedicated to a notable person who has achieved great success or made historic contributions to our community, state, or nation.

In Annapolis, 61% of low-income families have no books at home for children. One in 10 people in Annapolis live at or below the poverty line. Nationally, 14% of adults cannot read. Studies have shown that book readers are healthier and that exposing adolescents to books helps improve social interactions, long-term learning, literacy, and life skills.

Individuals in the Annapolis and Parole Rotary Clubs have sponsored 11 of the first 14 LFLs. Three additional sponsorships are available in Phase One, at a one-time cost of $500.00 each. Anyone interested in sponsoring a LFL or in being a LFL librarian, can visit www.annapolisrotary.org/little-free-library.

Books for International Goodwill is proud to help bring free books to kids and our communities. To learn more about BIG and their periodic book sales, see www.big-books.org or call 410.757.2785.

Hopefully, children, teens, and adults will visit a LFL in their neighborhood to take a book, keep a book, or share a book,” and enjoy the wonders and riches of reading.

- Rotary’s Motto is Service Above Self -