This is a 2nd priority grant for the Rotary Club of the Verde Valley, in partnership with the Mingus Union High School Interact Club.
Little Free Libraries is a non-profit organization that expands access to books through a global network of volunteer-led little libraries. The organization helps volunteer stewards start and maintain Little Free Library book exchanges through the online store with library models and kits, access to free or discounted books, and a world map of registered Little Free Libraries. Rotary of the Verde Valley and the Mingus Union High School Interact Club have already partnered to purchase 5 library kits and posts to place at 5 schools in Cottonwood and Cornville and have a goal of placing at least 4 more in areas served by Rotary- Rimrock, Jerome, Camp Verde, and Clarkdale. The Little Free Library was started by a Rotarian from Wisconsin in 2012 and was highlighted in the May issue of the Rotarian magazine.
The beneficiaries would be communities in the Verde Valley where public libraries may not be present and school libraries are closed through the summer. Rural areas can be "book deserts" and Little Free Libraries can become a community-building and literacy-building point of convergence for far-flung and underserved populations of adults and children who love to read.
We have a donation box in place at the Foothills Bank in Cottonwood, and we plan to reach out to other community organizations to collect books. Rotarians and Interactors are collecting books. The users will also "take a book and leave a book".
This project will be sustainable for many years with Rotarians and Interactors assisting in maintaining the Little Libraries and keeping them filled with books.
The budget for 4 additional libraries is approximately $2,500; see details in Finance section.