Last month, Girl Scout Troop 44133 helped install a Little Free Library in the main children’s play area at Grass Lawn Park in Redmond.
With the help of the city, the 12 troop members and their leaders set the library up on June 18.
Completion of the project means that troop members and fifth-graders Addison Goldberg, Ellie Fillmore, Gigi Olivieri, Grace Paulsell, Julianna Benes, Matigan Goelzer, Sadie Klinkenberg, Sarafina Painley, Sarah Wen, Simran Brar, Summer Cameron and Trisha Wui have earned their Bronze Award as Girl Scout Juniors.
The project had to be a benefit to the community and be sustainable, said Julie Painley, who leads the troop with Rachael Olivieri.
“I came across a statistic that 70 percent of kids in America have no books of their own,” Painley said. “So the girls decided to address that problem in their own hometown.”
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world, according to its website. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
This is the first Little Free Library in the Redmond parks. The city is interested to see how it fares and if they’ll support expansion to other city parks, Painley said.
The troop picked Grass Lawn because it is “close to many of our homes and the kids have great memories of growing up there,” she said.
“So far, the library has been very popular,” Painley said. “As we were dedicating it on Monday, lots of kids were interested!”
The “check out” process at a Little Free Library is simple. It’s a “take a book, leave a book” free book exchange; no library card is needed. The libraries come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.
See littlefreelibrary.org for more.