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Lindenhurst library to unveil second Little Free Library at respite park

A Little Free Library at the Rainbow Senior

A Little Free Library at the Rainbow Senior Center in Lindenhurst on Wednesday. Credit: Newsday/Denise M. Bonilla

The Lindenhurst Memorial Library is looking for a little more give and take.

The library is looking to expand its Little Free Library initiative, which puts book-filled wooden boxes on stands throughout neighborhoods sustained with the concept of “take a book, leave a book.” 

The library plans to unveil a new little library box on Oct. 13. at Babylon Town Hall, a year after placing its first box at the Rainbow Senior Center.

“It’s been really well-used,” said library director Lisa Kropp of the first little library. Earlier this week the box was filled with several magazines and more than a dozen books ranging from the grade school “Mr. Cooper is Super!” to the classic “Around the World in 80 Days”.

The new little library will be located at the Respite Care Relief Park. It will initially be filled with books on dementia and caregiving, Kropp said, but like all Little Free Libraries, it is expected to change over time.

The idea of the Little Free Library was born in 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a schoolhouse, filled it with books and placed it in his front yard as a tribute to his mother, a teacher and book lover.  Neighbors flocked to it and soon he was building more. Today, the nonprofit Little Free Library reports that there are 75,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in 88 countries.

The libraries began springing up around Long Island several years ago and today there are more than 100, located everywhere from Elmont to Shelter Island, according to a map on the organization’s website.

The town for the past few summers has had a box sponsored by the North Babylon Public Library at Phelps Lane pool in the summer, which is moved to the Spangle Drive senior center in the fall. The Deer Park Public Library is exploring adding boxes to the town’s Geiger and Pine Acres parks, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said.  

The boxes, which cost about $300 and are purchased from the Little Free Library organization unassembled, are about a foot and a half wide and come with a weatherproof roof.

The Lindenhurst library’s volunteer group, Friends of the Library, is now looking to take on the program as well. The group is working with Lindenhurst Village officials to set up multiple little libraries after netting $1,600 within a few hours of an online fundraising campaign.

“I was in tears, I’m just so happy and excited,” said the group’s president, Katie Grover. She said they are looking to add boxes to both village and unincorporated areas of Lindenhurst within the next month but locations have not been finalized. Mayor Mike Lavorata called the effort a “wonderful way for people to share a love of reading” and said he’d like to have one at village hall.

“We want to get a book in as many people’s hands as possible, and this is certainly one way to do it,” Grover said.  

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