Don't like to read?
The Little Village community has received a special gift. A mini-library offering free books in English and Spanish has opened up for all residents there. This addition is a group endeavor to strengthen the neighborhood and expand learning possibilities for children. The Little Village Branch made its debut on July 11, 2021.
Located on the outskirts of La Villita Community Church, 2300 S. Millard Ave., this new addition to the neighborhood was an idea of the church parishioners and members of youth organizations who assembled, painted, and installed the entire facility. They unveiled this new extension at a community party Sunday, offering free books, tacos, music, and games for kids.
“It is the first of many small libraries organizers plan to erect throughout the community,” said Yesenia Juarez, a church member who helped lead the project.
These are for the people of our neighborhood because we deserve good things. So we really believe that it’ll just allow our children to be able to walk by and see this awesome little book dwelling and feel free to take one and donate one for their neighbor, as well.
Some of La Villita Community Church associates thought of the idea to include small libraries in the area, Juarez said. One church member constructed one outside her home, and it created such a positive response that Juarez, Noah Pickens, and others started assembling the neighborhood project. Pickens explained:
We’re all engaged with the youth, and we just sensed it was something we must have, something the neighborhood deserved, Pickens said. We knew there were some around in various areas, and they kind of bring out a lot of positive components on that block, so we believed we needed to do what we could to generate as many as possible.
The young people of the New Life Center and the Chicago Youth Boxing Club are mostly responsible for the organization of the library. G.E.M.S. is the name of the adolescent program, and Jazmine Torres, the director, said it means the world to the young ladies to witness their work displayed in the community and receive the honor.
Free books in English and Spanish are now available to individuals in the Little Village area. The overseers of this new addition say, “empowering children through literacy is one of the main goals for the little libraries project.”
Written by Sharri Rogers
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Block Club Chicago: Little Library Debuts in Little Village, Offering Free Books in English and Spanish; by Maia Mcdonald
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Houston Public Library’s Flicker Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of .Brioso.’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License