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Auburn students create “Little Free Libraries”

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Auburn Middle School principal Celeste Beaudet, with students Kristina Bickford and Gretchen Hood

If you want a good book to read in Auburn, there are now a few more places to look, thanks to students participating in the after school and summer programs provided by Auburn Middle School’s Community Learning Center.

They may look like oversized birdhouses sitting atop fence posts, but these little houses are actually “Little Free Libraries” and are filled with dozens of books. Readers of all ages are encouraged to “Take A Book – Return A Book,” as it says on the front door of each library. Working on the honor system and available for use by everyone, the libraries may be found on the playgrounds of East Auburn and Park Avenue Schools and in front of Sherwood Heights and Fairview Schools.

After learning about the international Little Free Library movement during the summer program last year, students this year built the wooden libraries and decided where to locate them. They chose to put them at their elementary schools to encourage younger students to read. Books for the libraries were donated from school libraries and from classrooms updating their collections. Plans are in place to build and locate more libraries at other schools and locations in the community.

Funded by a grant from the Maine Department of Education in partnership with the Auburn School Department, the Community Learning Center provides academic support and educational opportunities for students at Auburn Middle, Edward Little High, Washburn, Walton, Sherwood Heights, and Park Avenue Schools. Over 300 students are participating in the program this year.

For more information about the program’s Little Free Libraries, or to donate books, contact Auburn Middle School Librarian Liz Preble at 333-6655 ext. 2305 or lpreble@auburnschl.edu.

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