There is a growing literacy crisis in the United States. Access to books is a critical factor in whether a child learns to love reading and goes on to succeed academically. That’s why we’re working to increase access to books where they’re needed most, such as in Native American communities.

Through our Native Library Initiative, we’ve given away dozens of Little Free Library book-sharing boxes. Meghan Dorey, manager of the Myaamia Heritage Museum & Archive in Miami, Oklahoma, received one such library. “We worked with a local sign company to wrap the box in an image of cattail mats (taken in our museum), which provide the outer covering for a wiikiaami, a traditional home of the Myaamia. So in essence, we made a small home for books,” says Meghan. 

Meghan’s library, charter #80616, was named ‘wiintaakanikaanihsi,’ which means ‘little library’ in the Myaamia language. It was installed near the entrance of the tribally-owned Leonard Learning Center, a childcare facility serving a variety of tribal nations and non-tribal citizens, as well. 

Meghan says, “With the location at the daycare, we are hoping to reach all ages of readers, from infants to middle schoolers, to parents and caregivers who may not have the time or ability to go to a traditional public library. Even the employees are excited about it and have volunteered to help steward! I expect the library to bring joy and happiness to a variety of people. Thank you so much to the Little Free Library organization for inspiring us to take this on!

Thanks to support of the Institute of Museum & Library Services, Meghan was even able to purchase a book for every child in the daycare to kick off the little library’s opening. Talk about a great start!

Learn more about Little Free Library’s Native Library Initiative.

 

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