Kathryn Frazier, an employee at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI helped make her supervisor’s dream a reality; to create an area where families could casually read during their Zoo visit. Frazier helped the Zoo install a Little Free Library (LFL) in April, 2015.
Since the Library has been in place there have been hundreds of adults and children using the Library.
Frazier estimated that over 700 books had found new homes by August that same year, and in January of 2016, she reported that more than 1,300 books had found new homes, all donated from her own collection.
Frazier estimates that half of the visitors that come to Roger Williams Park Zoo speak a language other than English, so it has been important to her to keep the Library stocked with a variety of different books, particularly Spanish books.
“I am so very pleased with our decision to invest in a Library,” she said.
“I love how these families are positively impacted by the Library in various ways, such as the Library being a new resource for literacy, increasing opportunity for one-on-one family time, being a tool for science education from the available science reference books, and more!”
Here are some tips from Frazier on starting a Little Free Library within an organization:
- Have a selection of books that reflect your neighborhood or area.
Because the zoo attracts a lot of children and families, she browses summer book sales at local town libraries for children’s books in different languages and educational reference books.
- Have the space where your Library feels like a “community” by having a bench or chair for visitors to use.
“I established a book nook area for my Library. I have witnessed children and adults sitting on the chairs while looking through the selection and reading,” said Frazier.
- Extra signage doesn’t hurt.
Because the Library is located within the Zoo’s property, people were hesitant to take the books. Frazier wrote on the Library door that encouraged people to take the books home with them. “Now handfuls of books are taken daily,” reported Frazier.
If you have any tips or tricks, please share them in the comments below.