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Little Free Libraries starting in Brighton

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Two Brighton residents hoping to promote literacy in the community through reading have thought about bringing Little Free Libraries to Brighton.
    After reading the same article about the program, Joan Kniss and Susan McCauley reached out to one another to see whether they would be interested in starting their own libraries.
    Kniss described said it was “so serendipitous” and McCauley shared Kniss’ enthusiasm for the project.
    “We both got the same idea at the same time, so I said, ‘lets just joint venture,’” McCauley said. “We can trade books back and forth. We can do cooperative things on the project and that’s what we’ve done so far.”        Kniss describes a Little Free Library as a small lending library on a post that’s located in a neighborhood that might not be close enough for children to walk to a public library. McCauley said the library is a box the size of a big bird house that has two shelves in it – one for children and one for adults.
    “It’s to encourage reading by children and adults and making books available to everybody in a very easy way,” McCauley said. “You don’t have to check them out. You don’t have to sign anything. You just come by, open the door take a book, read it, bring it back (and) take another book.”
    McCauley said having Little Free Libraries in the community will help children with reading, especially in the summer time, when they’re not in school. She said it would also help second language learners and give them an opportunity to read at their own pace and become more proficient in reading.
    Kniss hopes having a Little Free Library in front of her house will encourage those in the neighborhood to get out and walk and while they’re walking, stop by to pick up a book.
    “My best hope would be for grandparents to walk their grandkids over and they each pick a book,” she said.
    In order to make the Little Free Libraries a possibility, the women enlisted the help of the woodworkers group at the senior center. McCauley said they will be maintaining the libraries themselves and hopes their libraries will encourage others around Brighton to do the same thing. 
    Kniss and McCauley will be unveiling their libraries during an open house set for 10 a.m. Aug. 3 at their respective locations. Kniss’ library will be posted outside her home at 361 Terra Vista St., and McCauley’s library will be posted outside of Harmony Angels at 441 S. Seventh Ave.
    For more information on Little Free Libraries or to learn how to start your own contact Susan McCauley at 303-659-6992, ext. 1. Additional information about the Little Free Library movement can be found online at www.littlefreelibrary.org.