Little Free Libraries popping up around Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Little Free Libraries popping up around Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - A Little Free Library is now standing outside five of Dubuque's six fire stations and at least five more are scattered elsewhere throughout the community.

Similar in size and design to a mailbox, each Little Free Library sits on a post, positioned near the road. The box atop the post, however, is a bookshelf that's often shaped like a little one-room schoolhouse, with a see-through door.

"A Little Free Library, in its most basic form, is a small box that houses free books for anyone to take and exchange at any time," a release from the city of Dubuque said. "Returns and/or exchanges are not mandatory, but encouraged. Dubuque’s Little Free Libraries are open to everyone regardless of income level, age, or residence. Non-residents are welcome to participate."

Dubuque's Little Free Libraries outside the fire stations are a partnership between the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the AmeriCorps VISTA program, with the goal of promoting literacy and increasing access to books.

Area professionals donated all the time and supplies used in the construction of the book houses. An AmeriCorps VISTA book drive held in January netted 1,500 donated books that were used to stock the libraries. The Dubuque Fire Department maintains the libraries with the support of Dubuque's Carnegie-Stout Public Library.

Dubuque’s Little Free Libraries can be found at the following fire station locations:

• 2180 JFK Road (Fire Station 2)

• 3155 Central Avenue (Fire Station 3)

• 1697 University Avenue (Fire Station 4)

• 689 South Grandview Avenue (Fire Station 5)

• 1500 Rhomberg Avenue (Fire Station 6)

Other Free Little Libraries locations in Dubuque include:

• Mercy Hospital, 890 West Third Street

• Lincoln Elementary, 419 Winona Street

• University of Dubuque, corner of North Algona and West Third streets

• Eisenhower Elementary, 2984 Castle Woods Lane

• Bryant Elementary, 220 Hill Street

The city expects to add more Little Free Libraries in the future.

The worldwide movement of Little Free Libraries (LFLs) began in Wisconsin in 2009. A man named Todd Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse and filled it with books free for the taking as a tribute to his mother: a former school teacher with a love of reading. As of this past January, an estimated more-than-15,000 LFLs were established all around the world.

Learn more about LFLs HERE:
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