NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Missing the library? A solution is here, brought to the people of New Providence by three members of Girl Scout Troop #40380. 

Girl Scout Cadettes, Jessica Askins, Emersyn Estep, and Mia La installed a “Little Free Library” at Strawberry Fields in downtown New Providence. The “Little Free Library” is a book sharing box, where readers can take a book for the price of leaving another one in its place, to promote literacy amongst the community. 

The girls began this library in the hopes of earning their Silver Award. Cadettes work on a community based project within small groups of three to four based on an assigned topic. Each group must not only complete the project but also 50 community service hours which prove their project is sustainable. For these Cadettes, painting and stocking up the library, posting about donations on Facebook, and checking up on the library following its installation will satisfy their service hours. 

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While the girls bounced around a few other ideas, this project proved to be the most feasible during the pandemic. Askisn and La said the other options, which included volunteering, tutoring or donating books to a local library, were not necessarily options during quarantine. However, their end result is already seeming to be the perfect pick! 

The most important hope the girls have for their project, is that it has a positive impact on the community. La said, “[Our main goal] is to increase the amount of people who read books.” 

When the girls were searching for a venue they ultimately decided upon Strawberry Fields, thanks to the enthusiasm of the owner, Ava Johnson, who also feels that the library will have a positive impact. “I look at it as a win-win situation, especially in the times of CoVid,” Johnson said. “It is almost like a collaboration with the community, and specifically with the kids who are also being innovative.” 

The “Little Free Library” is truly a win-win for all involved, including community members who can now grab a new read, donate an old one, and grab a cup of frozen yogurt all in one trip.