Like many of us, Layla Rascona and her husband Anthony felt the toll of social distancing during COVID-19. “We felt super isolated. We spent more time at home and in our yard and I noticed a lot of new faces in other yards that I hadn’t met yet,” says Layla.

When she read about Little Free Library book-sharing boxes, she thought it would be an amazing way to meet neighbors and share her love of books. Layla owns Rascona’s Rascals Daycare in Yonkers, New York, so her home made a great spot for a little library with lots of kids coming and going.

Layla recently installed her Little Free Library #103952. You can find it on our world map of Little Free Library book-sharing boxes. We asked her to share her experience starting a library in this steward spotlight blog post.

Did you build or buy your Little Free Library?

“When I told my husband about the idea, he started building our little library that day. He didn’t use any plans, just his imagination; he’s amazing and always up for a challenge!”

Note: We have dozens of Little Free Library plans and blueprints available for free if you’re looking for guidance to start your own library.

What type of books do you stock?

“Being a daycare owner, I went with a library theme of some of the childrens’ favorite books, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I used lively colors for everyone to notice! We have it stocked with children’s books as well as books for teens and adults. We want everyone to benefit!”

Layla held a Grand Opening with a ribbon-cutting for the Little Free Library. She took a short video of all the kids at daycare cheering at the event and posted it on social media. “All the kids went with their parents at dismissal and took books home from the little library. So many people have come by already because of the video!”

If you just opened and your library isn’t getting a lot of traffic, try posting a photo or video on social media! Consider paying $5 to boost the post to everyone in your area; it’s amazing how well social media can get the word out.

What do you hope your Little Free Library will accomplish?

“Our hope for our library is to help our community heal from the isolation and division many of us have been feeling recently. We hope the library will bring us together, help us meet each other and share a conversation, and maybe a smile and a book!”

Get more sweet stories, tips and ideas from Little Free Library stewards in our steward spotlight series!

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