For their Silver Award project, Girl Scouts from Troop 14013 Megan T. and Hailey T. in Grand Junction designed, built, and installed a Free Little Library at Lincoln Park. The girls love reading and wanted to share that love with their community. The library was immediately used by children and adults.
Mandy Beilman was at the girls’ event because she has been visiting Free Little Libraries around the country. GSCO asked her a few questions about her personal connection to Free Little Libraries.
When did you get started doing this?
I remember seeing Little Free Libraries in online articles, but never seeing one in person. I saw my first one in the summer of 2016 in Homer, Alaska. My family was there for a deep sea fishing trip and I spotted one with a mermaid on it. I swapped out the book I had brought along for the trip with a new read. After that, I started noticing them more places and being intentional about seeking them out.
Where have you experienced these?
In many places! I’ve visited several in Anchorage, AK, as well as the one in Homer. The farthest east I’ve gone is Topeka, KS. I plan to continue seeking them out whenever I got to a new place. My daughter and I like to take photos of them and I have an album on Facebook. My favorite ones so far are the ones that I find by accident. There’s a bit of magic in finding one and seeing what books it holds!
What is your interest in LFL?
I’m a high school English teacher, so literacy is important to me. I love the idea of giving out free books, it’s a great community service! Plus, I think the libraries are cute; I enjoy seeing all of the different styles. I can’t wait to put one in my front yard. (As soon as I sign the closing papers on my first home).
What made you come to this one?
I saw the girls putting it together and thought I’d come over and visit! I’ve never been the first patron before, my daughter and I really enjoyed that. The one the girls designed is beautiful, and it has a perfect location, right next to a park.