The Little Free Library at the Kingsessing Recreation Center

Mini Library Photo

The Kingsessing Library is very excited to be collaborating with the Kingsessing Recreation Center to get books into the hands of everyone in the neighborhood.

Courtesy of a generous donation from Southwest CDC, the library came into possession of a “little free library,” also known as a “mini-library.” A “little free library” (LFL) looks like an oversized bird feeder, but instead of nourishing the avian bellies, it nourishes human minds. Anyone can leave a book in an LFL, and anyone can take a book from it.

The LFL that Southwest CDC donated was moved, painted, and installed by Rec Center volunteers with help from PowerCorps PHL. Starting in May, it will be regularly filled by the librarians at Kingsessing library with books and magazines that are free for all to take.

Where will these books come from? The library does have to periodically “weed,” meaning remove books from its collection. This might seem odd, but in fact it’s a big part of what public librarians do. Libraries are regularly adding new titles so that their collections stay fresh with the most up-to-date useful info about medical conditions, legal advice, test prep, and many more practical subjects, as well the newest fiction, biographies, kids books, and more for popular reading. At the same time, the shelf space of the building isn’t expanding, so it’s always necessary to remove titles that are out of date or that haven’t been interesting to readers for years.

But librarians love to see books in people’s hands, so the Free Library branches put “weeded” books out to pasture by selling them for a quarter to raise a little money for branch programming. If they aren’t purchased after a month, the books are put out for people to take for free. It will be these items, as well as magazines that are over a year old that will be put in the Rec Center LFL. That way, the many members of the community who frequent the Rec Center, but who may not make it to the library as often, will have access to titles to keep. Literacy for all!

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