The fourth grade students at the Peconic Community School in Aquebogue are avid readers, according to Kathyrn Casey Quigley, the school’s co-director. By January, the students had already met a challenge to read 400 books by the end of the school year, she said.
“So they realized they could share their love of reading and books with other community members,” Ms. Casey Quigley said.
Every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the students participate in a service project. That’s where they decided to make a “Little Free Library.”
The Little Free Library, which is actually pretty big, would enable kids to share a book with others and read books donated by other children.
They voted on what the library would look like and decided it would be a rocket.
Adam Spar, a parent of one of the students, built the rocket ship library and the children assembled, sanded, painted and decorated it at their school. They also organized a book drive among school students to stock the rocket before blast off.
Ms. Casey Quigley said she contacted Councilwoman Catherine Kent about a possible location in that town, and she suggested Stotzky Park.
So on Wednesday, the students, along with Ms. Kent and Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, helped cut the ribbon on the library’s new location at Stotzky Park.
“I want to thank you for being so enthusiastic here today,” Ms. Aguiar told the kids. “I will look forward to seeing the library stocked in a few minutes. In today’s digital world everything is computerized, it’s good to sit back and open up a book and enlighten yourself.”
“I think this is the perfect spot,” said Ms. Kent, a former teacher who brought some books of her own to fill the library. “You’ve got me so excited about this little library.”
She said she hopes to see other similar “little libraries” turn up in other locations throughout the town.
“This Little Free Library will not only improve reading motivation, but it will also deepen community connections,” Ms. Kent said. “It will bring a little more joy and a lot more books to our community.”
Anyone may contribute or take books from the library. You can donate a book or books by simply placing them in the Little Free Library book exchange. If you take a book or two from a library, you do not need to return that exact book. However, in order to keep the library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood, the next time you swing by the library bring a few books to share.