SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County added a new “Little Free Library” to Newtown Estates Park on Tuesday, just in time for National Read Across America Day.
The new Little Free Library is made possible by a generous grant from the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service award, which was provided through State College of Florida to Project Read Together Inc., a Sarasota based non-profit literacy organization.
While there are currently nine total Little Free Libraries around Sarasota County, the grant will provide a total of three new Little Free Libraries, with the Newtown Estates Park location being the first.
Two other organizations recently donated Little Free Libraries as well. The South West Educational Foundation donated one to Arlington Park and the Friends of the Legacy Trail donated one installed at Culverhouse Nature Park.
The Little Free Library program encourages neighborhood residents to use and contribute to small lending libraries at standalone locations. Each Little Free Library is a box of books available for anyone to borrow on the honor system. Users are simply asked to replace each book with another in good condition from their collection at home.
Three county departments – Libraries and Historical Resources; Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; and UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability – launched the project in 2014 to provide the Little Free Libraries at locations throughout the county.
“The Little Free Library program has provided a unique way to explore literature, and they serve as a gathering place where neighbors share their favorite books,” said Libraries and Historical Resources Director Sarabeth Kalajian.
Lee Hayes Byron, sustainability manager for Sarasota County, feels the Little Free Libraries provides a host of great benefits to the community.
“This program promotes a love of reading and saves people money by encouraging the sharing economy,” said Byron, adding, “There is also an environmental benefit by keeping books circulating and out of the landfill.”
National Read Across America Day was launched in 1997 by the National Education Association to celebrate reading, and to motivate kids to spend more time reading. National Read Across America Day takes place annually on March 2.
Newtown Estates Park is located at 2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota.
Little Free Libraries are also available at the following locations:
- Twin Lakes Park, Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota
- Urfer Family Park, 4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota
- Colonial Oaks Park, 5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota
- Longwood Park, 6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota
- Shamrock Park, 3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice
- Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S River Road, Englewood
- George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer Way, North Port
- Arlington Park, 2650 Waldemere St., Sarasota
- Culverhouse Nature Park 7301 McIntosh Road, Sarasota
- Newtown Estates Park, 2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota
To learn more about the Little Free Library project call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000, or visit www.scgov.net.
Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities.
View the complete policy at www.scgov.net/ADA/Pages/default.aspx.