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Check It Out – Little Free Library Project ‘A Success’

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City’s Little Free Library Project is in need of some help.

Got books? The project, which began this summer, has been so successful that it could use an infusion of some more books.

The project involves the placement of several boxes that look like an over-sized mailbox or miniature library in local parks. The boxes are filled with books and children and adults can take a book, return a book and/or donate a book, if they please, according to Dawn Metott of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

The miniature library located in East Park
The miniature library located in East Park

Earlier this year, a co-worker showed her an article about Little Free Libraries sprouting up around the country in little towns and neighborhoods with the goal to promote people getting to know their communities more and to promote literacy, Metott explained.

“When I saw the article I knew we had to do something like that around Oswego. We have a fantastic local library here in Oswego, but not everyone has the time to access it.  However many families with children frequent the local parks right in their neighborhoods. My thought was why not put books and literacy right into the hands of those families where they spend time?” she said.

She approached the city council and was granted permission to use the city parks for the program.

“The libraries are going well, except at Oak Hill (Park). That one was vandalized twice within a day of putting it up and we’re fixing it the second time,” she said. “We have taken it down and will readdress putting it back up in the spring.  The others are going very well and being utilized often.”

They are being used so often, she added, that “we are always looking for appropriate kid and adult book donations and they can drop them off at the Youth Bureau or put them in the libraries themselves – which is what we ultimately hope they do.”

The Little Free Libraries were originally placed in Breitbeck Park and in West Park. Then, they were added in East Park and Oak Hill Park.

“The response has been very positive. With the exception of the trouble in Oak Hill, we have gotten a wonderful response and support from the community,” Metott said.

She encourgaes the community to get involved in the program.

People can donate books right at one of the libraries, she said. Also, “We’d appreciate it if you would take an active role in helping to keep an eye on the library in the park(s) you visit,” she said.

If any issues come up, contact the Youth Bureau.

As far as donations, she said all appropriate books for youngsters are welcomed; donations of adult books are the hardest to get, she noted.

Metott said the bureau hopes to continue and enlarge the project with libraries in each park in Oswego and others around the city at local organizations that families frequent.

“I have had several people from Fulton and Mexico express an interest in having some in their communities as well,” Metott said. “The desire is out there to expand. We just need the volunteers and materials to do it.”

For more information, Metott can be reached at the Youth Bureau at 349-3575 or [email protected]

For information about the project, visit http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/