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Free library springs up at RVES in Farmington

Students helped stock the new free library at Riverview Elementary School.

Summer reading just got a little easier for readers around Farmington.

Just before the end of the school year, a new Little Free Library was installed outside the front doors of Riverview Elementary School, compliments of the school’s fifth graders in the Gifted and Talented program.

The library is book sharing in its simplest form. It’s a mounted, wooden box with a lid that opens and closes without a lock. The box is stocked with books, and anyone is welcome to take one home to read or place one there for others.

Teacher Constance Will received the Little Free Library box in December. Her husband works for Toro Company, and the company had four to give out. Riverview received one of the four.

Over the next few months, Will’s students decorated the box with images of book characters, drawn free-hand. They also went to work to find donations of books to put into the library.

“We’re hoping that kids will come and take a book and do some reading over the summer,” Will said.

Students mounted the library box outside the school’s front doors last week. That way, Will said, anyone can come and look through the book selection over the summer. They can take a book, they can leave a book. That’s the whole idea behind the Little Free Library, she said.

“The plan is that a child would bring back a book they were done with, and would trade it with a book at another level. It’s just a way to keep kids reading. It’s on the honor system, so we want to have students keep bringing in books they’ve read so we can keep it full,” Will said.

Little Free Library is a nationwide project that started in 2012. By January of this year, more than 15,000 Little Free Library sites had been set up around the United States, including at least one in Rosemount. A map is available on the program’s website, Will plans to register the RVES library to include it on the map, as well. Readers need not return the book to the library box from which it was taken. The book can be returned to any of the Little Free Library sites on the map.

While most of the books in the school’s Little Free Library are geared toward student readers, Will plans to put a few books in for older students and adults.

“We just want to get people reading. It’s for everybody. The goal is to read and to have it accessible for everyone, at any time,” she said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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