By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – On May 9th, the City of Miami Commission unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by District 4 Commissioner Manolo Reyes to make reading more accessible to residents in District 4, through the Little Free Libraries program.
The resolution creates the Little Community Libraries, a one-year pilot program that will place small temporary structures containing books on private properties and parks throughout District 4, making free books available to residents.
The program allows the public to take, return or add new books from a wooden box, and have become popular in many cities throughout Florida such as Orlando, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, St. Augustine, Sunrise, Coral Gables and El Portal.
“I am proud to bring this program to the City of Miami for the first time and to be able to provide free books to our residents, especially children, just in time for summer break,” said Reyes, a former educator. “Reading a book can change a life and it is an opportunity that everyone should have.”
The City’s Parks Department will place the first of the Little Community Libraries in Coral Gate Park, West End Park, Bryan Park and Shenandoah Park, all within District 4. Additionally, Neighborhood Resource Officers assigned to District 4 will have portable Little Libraries in their vehicles for residents to enjoy.
A donation of 200 children’s books has been secured from Friends of the Library and Commissioner Reyes is also working with Lake Worth Little Free Libraries, Inc. to assist in securing sixteen Little Libraries structures and books to be donated to parks and elementary schools in District 4 that choose to participate in the program.
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. There are more than 80,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all fifty states and over ninety countries.
Through these libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
Little Free Library has also received recognition from the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, Library Journal, the Women’s National Book Association, and more.
To locate a Little Library in the City of Miami visit Littlefreelibrary.org.