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Tiny Free Libraries Opening in Roseburg Parks

9:29 PM · Aug 30, 2022

Five parks in Roseburg are getting tiny free community libraries as part of a community-driven literacy project that involves wood shop students at Jo Lane Middle School and Altrusa International of Roseburg. The small, wooden, book-sharing cabinets will be set up by Roseburg Parks and Recreation personnel in Brown, Commercial Street, Eastwood, Laurelwood and Thompson parks. They will all be installed by the end of August. They are open for constant access to anyone who wants to take a free book or leave one for someone else to read as part of a community give-and-take. It is not required to return the books. The libraries were built by Joseph Lane Middle School eighth-grade students in the advanced wood shop class and bear the names of the builders. “I think that makes it even better – to give back to the community,” Roseburg Public Works Director Dawn Easley said in a press release from the City of Roseburg. “I feel like there’ll be more accessibility for some young people to be able to get books.” Altrusa International works with partners to expand easy access to books. The libraries will be stocked and maintained by the nonprofit members. They appreciate books being left in the boxes. The nonprofit Little Free Library offers registration for book-sharing boxes but encourages the community-building device even if it's not within their network. In their frequently asked questions, they say that small incidents of vandalism are common, like having a guest book stolen or a few books damaged, but bigger problems, like having your entire library damaged, are much less common. More than 80% of stewards report never dealing with significant vandalism. Also, the nonprofit addresses "stealing" books. "Remember that the purpose of a Little Free Library is to share books—you can’t really steal from it," the website says. "Perhaps the person taking all the books doesn’t have any at home or is distributing them to others in their apartment complex, school, or retirement community. Over the years we’ve heard from many stewards who’ve discovered that a book 'thief' really wasn’t a thief at all." The libraries will also have forms for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library which sends free high-quality books to children from birth to age five. The form is also available at the Roseburg Public Library or on the website. The libraries will have journals where individuals can make comments and suggestions to help Altrusa members learn what kinds of books people are most interested in reading. Contact Roseburg-based Altrusa International at roseburgaltrusa@gmail.com for further details.

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