In celebration of Reading Month, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz unveiled the first ever Little Free Library in the State Capitol. With more than 1,200 attempts to ban or restrict books in the U.S. last year, according to Unite Against Book Bans, the Little Free Library celebrates books and helps to ensure they remain accessible in Minnesota. The Governor unveiled the library alongside librarians and advocates for book accessibility. Little Free Library Director of Communications Margret Aldrich and three Minnesota public librarians gave remarks at the event and added their favorite banned books to the Little Free Library box. LFL staff were also in attendance to show their support for keeping books accessible.
“In Minnesota, we are focused on investing in education, our future, and children and families across the state. We’re not in the business of taking books away from kids and schools – and we certainly don’t believe in banning books that tell our history,” said Governor Walz. “This Little Free Library is one way we’re doing our part to ensure books remain accessible to teach, tell our story, and inspire the next generation of readers in Minnesota.”
Part of our mission is to expand book access, so book bans go against our core values as an organization. We believe Little Free Library book-sharing boxes can be used as tools for providing access to these banned and challenged books.
“It is an honor to place a Little Free Library book-exchange box at the Minnesota Governor’s office as a reminder that access to books is a right. We believe all people are empowered when the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege. Book access strengthens literacy skills which in turn fosters academic, economic, and life-long success for all,” said Little Free Library Executive Director Greig Metzger. “Banning books is completely contrary to the Little Free Library mission. Sharing books and providing book access is fundamental to our organization’s DNA. Too often the books that are pulled from shelves represent the work and lives of BIPOC, LGBTQ, and other marginalized communities. We support greater access to these under-represented voices which strengthens our communities through connection, understanding, and empathy.”