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A Second Free Library Going Up In Wichita’s Fairmount Park

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Courtesy photo
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Storytime Village’s Little Free Library in Fairmount Park. The Rotary library will be installed this month.";

People who live near Wichita’s Fairmount Park will soon have another opportunity to get free books.

The Rotary Club of Wichita is providing what’s called a “Little Free Library” to the park with book donations to fill the shelves.

The freestanding neighborhood library is a small wood box at the top of a pole with shelves and an unlocked door. Anyone can stop by at any hour of the day and take a book for free.

Project organizer Sharon Van Horn says Rotary is working with the nonprofit Storytime Village to ensure children and adults have access to books.

"People who don’t have books or perhaps would not have transportation to be able to get to the library can just go close to their house and get a book," Van Horn says.

The Rotary library is expected to be installed within the month. It will be the second free library in Fairmount Park.

"It’s giving whole families opportunities to read, and perhaps to read together, that they’ve never had before," Van Horn says.

Storytime Village will be storing book donations and restocking the free libraries as needed.

"We will give all the books to Storytime Village and we are giving some to Child Start because they also do a children’s literacy program in October. So we are giving them all the books and then they will store them, and as they need to restock the libraries, that means they will have lots of books they can stock them with."

Since 2012, dozens of free libraries have gone up around the city of Wichita.

Improving children’s literacy is a longtime core mission for the Rotary Club of Wichita. The service organization donates about 24,000 books to elementary school age children in 21 USD 259 Title I schools and 14 Child Start schools. Volunteers visit the schools two times a year to read to the children and deliver the books, which the children have personally selected.

The Rotary Club also provides dictionaries to each third grader in Title I schools in USD 259.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 
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