Little Free Library ‘opening’ soon in Sun City

The Little Free Library movement in Huntley is expanding quickly.

Just a few months after the first Little Free Library went up in Deicke Park in Huntley by a local father and son, another one is coming to Sun City. The new one is the result of a team effort by Lake in the Hills Eagle Scout candidate Jarrod Choo and the Friends of the Huntley Library.

To obtain the Eagle Scout rank, the highest honor in Boy Scouting, a Scout must develop and build a project that provides tangible benefits to an organization or institution in the community. Choo recently contacted the Huntley library to inquire about possibilities for a project, and the discussions led to a proposal to erect a Little Free Library structure somewhere near Meadow View Lodge, pending approval by Sun City officials.

One Little Free Library, built by Jarrod Choo, stands in Deicke Park. Another is on the way to Sun City. (Photo by Tony Pratt/Sun Day)

One Little Free Library, built by Jarrod Choo, stands in Deicke Park. Another is on the way to Sun City. (Photo by Tony Pratt/Sun Day)

“We were excited to hear of Jarrod’s interest, because the Friends of the Library have been exploring building an additional Little Library in or near the Sun City area,” said Pamela Kampwerth, director of volunteer and circulation services at the Huntley library.

A Little Free Library is a cabinet-like box of books, mounted on a sturdy pole or log, and posted in an accessible spot in a residential yard, park, or near a sidewalk. It is filled with books and becomes a micro-library. The box can look like a large birdhouse, or resemble a dollhouse, a miniature log cabin, or even a mailbox (shaped like a school bus). It operates on the honor system, but the book inventory and box are monitored and cared for by a volunteer steward.

Since Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library in his yard in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009, it has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon. In a book he wrote about the project in 2015, he put it this way: “Humanity’s sweeter side emerges when neighbors share books and ideas.”

“They bring books, information, and literacy closer to the community, and they bring communities together” Bol said. “Come and browse the books you like. Have a book to share or give away? Add it to the mix. Take a book, return a book. It sparks a feeling of community, of neighborly conversations.”

Today, there are more than 25,000 little free libraries worldwide in the U.S. and in more than 80 foreign countries.

“Many members of our Friends of the Library are residents of Sun City, and we have been talking about locating one in Sun City for a while now,” said Kampwerth, who works closely with the Friends group. “When Jarrod contacted us about doing something, we came up with this idea quickly.”

She added that a she and a few members of the Friends planned to meet on July 11 at Meadow View Lodge to investigate a spot for Jarrod’s “little box.”

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