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GROTON, N.Y. — There is a new place to get books in Groton. Actually, two places! Over the weekend of January 16 and 17, 2016, two new Little Free Libraries were installed in the Village, one at the Elementary School, and one on Main Street outside the Groton Historical Museum.
A Little Free Library (LFL) is a free-standing structure where community members may, “Take a book — Return a book.” In Groton, the LFLs resemble a doll house approximately two feet wide by one foot deep by two feet high, with a green roof and a glass front that swings open. They sit atop a single post. Each has books lined up on two shelves. Both are registered with the nonprofit group, LittleFreeLibrary.org, and included on a map showing the location of LFLs worldwide.
“This is one more way to make reading more accessible,” said Christine Griffin, board member of the Friends of the Groton Public Library (GPL), and steward of the LFL project. “We know that Groton loves its library, and the Friends saw this as a way to expand access to the love of reading.”
Griffin, a founding member of the Friends of the GPL and past board president of both the Groton Public Libraryand the Finger Lakes Library System, has long been interested in the Little Free Library movement. Completion of the Groton LFLs is the fulfillment of a dream, which from first drawings, to funding, to final installation has taken nearly a year. Funding for the project came primarily from a community grant and from a gift in memory ofGroton residents Clifford and Elinor B. Monagan. The Friends of the GPL funded installation of the LFLs.
“We are very excited,” said Sue Haynes, president of the Friends of the GPL board. The role of the Friends group is primarily to mobilize community support for the Groton Public Library with donations and volunteering. “With the Little Free Libraries, the Friends have expanded beyond the direct connection with the GPL to more broadly encourage the joys of reading,” Haynes said. The Friends of the GPL is the steward these LFLs.
The Little Free Library movement was started by a Wisconsin resident in 2009. Worldwide there are now over 36,000 LFLs registered with LittleFreeLibrary.org. “Like any library, individuals are welcome to borrow a book from the LFL,” Griffin explained. “What’s different though, is that people are encouraged to leave a book in the LFL. It’s a place where residents can exchange books for the simple joy of it,” she said. There is no registration or library card needed, just a request for everyone to be respectful of the process and others in the community who use the service.
Groton’s Little Free Libraries are located at the main entrance of the Groton Elementary School and in front of the Groton Historical Museum, 168 Main Street. While the LFL at the Elementary School will primarily cater to families and neighborhood residents, all are encouraged to take advantage of the site. The LFL on Main Street pays tribute to Groton’s history by displaying a vintage Smith Corona typewriter above the book shelves. For more information about the LFLs, visit the Friends of the Groton Public Library on Facebook, or write FOTGPL@gmail.com.