MILLBURN, NJ - There is a bright new fixture in Taylor Park for the entire community to share. The Friends of the Millburn Library (FML) installed a Little Free Library (LFL) to spread a love of reading and books. The library contains a wide range of books: adult fiction, non-fiction, Young adults, kids, paperbacks and hardcovers.
Library Board of Trustee member Judith Eisner got the ball rolling in April, and Dorothy Kelly among others worked out the proposal to present to the FML Executive Board to secure funding for the project. Millburn Library Director Michael Banick also endorsed the plan and it headed to the Millburn Township Administrator for approval since the LFL sits on public land.
FML purchased the LFL ready-made and fully weatherproofed, as well as the stands. Kits are available to build your own, but the FML felt that the libraries should be as sturdy and attractive as possible. With all approvals in place, the first of three proposed LFL's were purchased and then installed by the Millburn Department of Public Works last week.
"I had first heard of Little Free Libraries around five years ago and absolutely love the idea of having a place outside where people passing by could just grab a book to read, pass it along to someone else or return it to another box at their convenience. It is such a wonderful way to spread a love of reading and books." Kelly said.
FML also agreed to be official stewards of the LFL. They maintain the structure, restock the books, and make sure that only books are left in the box (no advertisements, catalogs, trash). The stewards have a large cache of books ready to go should the LFL need a refill.
A primary mission of The Friends is to foster interest in and support for the Millburn Free Public Library. The LFL project is in keeping with our recent outreach efforts, which include spreading a love of reading and libraries to the community (the FML book donation program is also part of this campaign).
There is more information about Little Free Libraries on their website: https://littlefreelibrary.org. There are more than 50,000 of them around the world. The Millburn LFL came with a Charter Number, and it has now been entered on their World Map so that people could look up the location from anywhere.
Kelly noted, "I also want to mention that I received a great deal of help and advice from the President of the Friends of the South Orange Public Library. They have sponsored a number of LFLs in South Orange. Her advice was invaluable--she also took me on a tour of the SO LFLs, so I could get a good understanding of how they actually work. It has been wonderful to work with other Library Friends and share our love of books and libraries."
An official dedication ceremony is in the planning stages for the fall, but no date has been set.