By Amalia Kortright, For The Tribune
BIRMINGHAM — Libraries are making their way outdoors in the city of Birmingham. Little Free Libraries have been made available to children of all ages as of last weekend at city parks throughout Birmingham. The libraries will be open for visitors to enjoy reading a free book while visiting any Birmingham park.
Birmingham City Councilman Jay Roberson worked with Director of Community Partnerships for GPS Educational Services Carnelle Howell in order to bring the libraries to parks all over the Birmingham area and to serve as an initiative for kids to read more.
“Connecting the public with free reading materials and resources is what we do. This project is another way for us to bring the library into the communities that we serve,” said Howell.
According to Howell, these libraries have the potential to promote a greater sense of community among visitors, in addition to being educational. “[They] make take the opportunity to meet in their local parks to read a book.”
The first set of libraries were unveiled at the newly opened Maclin Park on Saturday, May 21, immediately following the park’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
According to Roberson, these libraries came at the best possible time, because the city of Birmingham will be able to showcase the libraries along with a brand new park for the community.
“We’re really changing the core of our communities by ensuring that we provide the public with the fundamental tools to succeed.” said Roberson. “Families can now visit the park to take in fun, physical activities and enjoy a book or two at the same time.”
Little Free Libraries are sponsored by GPS Educational Services, LLC, an after school tutoring program that promotes academic and social growth in children.
The Little Free Libraries are currently open at Crestwood, Central, Cooper Green, and Maclin Parks. There are over 25,000 little libraries at parks worldwide.