This post and the photos are courtesy of Kim Hodges of Missing Peace.
A Little Free Library was installed at the Holly Hill Campus of Family Renew Community, nestled amongst some shady trees near their playground, and adjacent benches; a perfect place to settle in with a good book.
Designed to have plenty of room for books for readers of all ages, we were overwhelmed with a large variety books donated to fill it. Enough books were donated that we could leave a large box on the property to restock the shelves as needed for a long time to come. The building of the library was designed to have the kids assemble the structure, but when they saw the hundreds of books the adults were going to sort, they let the grownups handle the building in favor of exploring the treasure trove of reading we had collected. The children examined and selected the books with honest delight. It was a brief glimpse into the joy this Little Free Library will add to the community.
For those who aren’t familiar with Family Renew, it is an incredible local organization helping families transition out of homelessness, and this library will give those same families access to lots of great books right in their backyard. It was installed by a group called Missing Peace, a nomadic spiritual community that spends a significant portion of its time engaged in service projects around the Volusia County area. Missing Peace will act as steward to this Little Free Library, but have tasked the children of the community to be our librarians. They will refill the library with books from the back up box, look for repairs we need to make and request more books when their supplies are running low.
Missing Peace was inspired by another Little Free Library installed near one of their meeting spaces -- the Bailey Riverbridge Gardens -- where the kids of the community often borrow and donate books. The Bailey Riverbridge Gardens library was installed by Lizanne Brown-Swaringen who knew nothing about Missing Peace and its families who would come to love her little library. It was in fact the enjoyment of that Little Free Library that inspired Missing Peace to build a a Little Free Library as one of their serving opportunities. As soon as Ms. Swaringen heard about our project, she jumped at the chance to build another little library in the area. Not only was she available for advice and encouragement, she donated the registration to Little Free Library, and helped us build the library the day we installed it. She was instrumental in the installation of the Familiy Renew Community Little Free Library knowing nothing of her role in its creation.
We were all delighted with result; it is filled with the children’s book choices within and decorated with their handprints without. These libraries are building community, connecting people, and giving kids and adults more access to the wonderful world of reading! This kind of hopeful community building is contagious, and we at Missing Peace hope to see many more Little Free Libraries popping up all over Volusia County!