Southern Introduces New Mini Library on Campus
This summer Southern Adventist University introduced a free mini library on campus, providing convenient access to books along the promenade and an opportunity for students, employees, and community members to read more this school year. McKee Library partnered with Little Free Libraries to make this project possible. Decisions for where the little library would go, what it would look like, and if it should even be set up took a few weeks; but it is now displayed on the promenade for easy access. The miniature library has a popular selection of books including, fiction, non-fiction, religious, educational, and even children’s books, which the library staff has happily re-stocked three times so far.
“We are always very conscious about doing something nice for students,” said Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for financial administration.
Little Free Libraries have sprung up across the country in the last few years due to the genius of Todd H. Bol. He designed them in 2009 following the model of a one-room schoolhouse in a tribute to his mother, a teacher and lover of books. As of November 2016, there are more than 50,000 Little Free Libraries located throughout all 50 states and in 70 other countries. These little libraries are most commonly found in neighborhoods but are starting to show up other places, such as airports.
Deyse Bravo, McKee library director, and Jessica Spears, research librarian, were instrumental in launching this project, and they hope this endeavor encourages students to read not for just academics but for pleasure, too. Many community members have gotten involved by donating books, which is greatly appreciated. Southern hopes the little library will thrive and may even consider adding more locations on campus. As electronic media become more prevalent, little libraries aim to keep paper books within reach. Anyone is welcome to “take a book and enjoy” without feeling the need to leave one.