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Ribbon cutting for Little Free Libraries

by Kaden Quinn | May 18, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Library Director Connie Walker and Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) community organizer Jenn Millard cut the ribbon to the Little Free Libraries project with California High School students and faculty on May 11, 2022. Pictured (left to right) are: CHS Art Teacher Brad Friedrich, student Treston Lewis, student Ryan Staton, Moniteau County Library Connie Walker, Central Missouri Community Action Community Organizer Jenn Milliard, student Ellie Clay and student Grace Porter. (Democrat photo/Evan Holmes)

The Little Free Libraries are finally available to the public.

Moniteau County Library Director Connie Walker and Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) community organizer Jenn Millard held a ribbon-cutting with California High School students for the Little Free Libraries project on May 11 at Proctor Park.

Walker told the Democrat the initial joint project between the CMCA and the library is now complete. With the help of the California Street Department, the Little Free Library installations are now spread throughout the local area for anyone to use.

The goal of the Little Free Libraries is to give people access to reading materials they would not have otherwise. By creating these installations, individuals can take, return or donate books at their discretion.

Over the course of a year, the project accepted donations from local organizations such as the California Lions Club, the Burger Foundation and the Friends of the Moniteau County Library Services. Walker said each of these groups is instrumental in the funding Little Free Libraries received.

However, the most influential assistance came from California High School students.

Art teacher Brad Friedrich enlisted the help of his set design class to put the installations together. The students and one CHS teacher painted five boxes for the project, each with a different theme, including: a patriotic theme, a flower theme, a book theme, a coffee and cafe theme and a "sphere" theme.

Once Friedrich turned the installations into the library, it took some time to coordinate how and where the boxes would be placed. After getting in touch with the California Street Department, workers placed each box in an area where the most people would be able to use it.

Two are placed by buildings such as Grind Coffee and Bistro and the Moniteau County Health Center, the third installation is placed on Gerhart Road near the former location of the Moniteau Care Center and the fourth is placed on the west side of Proctor Park where the ribbon-cutting was held.

The fifth installation will be placed at the Latham Memorial Family Park after its dedication on May 30.

Walker explained they have received word from several volunteers who would be involved with upkeep. She said county treasurer Sarah Jones coordinated with other elected officials at the Moniteau County courthouse to (maintain) and keep the boxes restocked and cleaned out. She also thanked former alderwoman Resa Dudley for important work reaching out to the street department for their help.

She said library board member Mark Bogue built six additional installations for the project with the help of his friends. Walker explained board members would like these new boxes to be spread more across the county in areas such as Jamestown, Lupus, McGirk, High Point and potentially Latham.

The Moniteau County Library has already set locations for Little Free Libraries in Jamestown and Lupus. Walker said two are currently being painted by the Jamestown High School Art Club with its school librarian offering to oversee students stock the installations. She added the Tipton 4-H Club has reached out to the library for their community to use as well.

Walker said, in total, Moniteau will have 11 Little Free Libraries to engage with.

  photo  Democrat photo/Evan Holmes: California High School students display Little Free Library installment they painted. (Left to right) CHS students Grace Porter, Ellie Clay, Ryan Staton and Treston Lewis.

Print Headline: Ribbon cutting for Little Free Libraries


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