Little Free Library
In 2015, following a discussion of Molly Phinney Baskette’s book Real Good Church, a committed group of parishioners decided that literacy was a worthy service concentration for East Church.
Our denomination, the United Church of Christ, had already identified literacy as a social justice issue and established Reading Changes Lives as a response to what it perceived as “the crippling literacy gap in the world.”
Holley Meyer accepted a leadership role as Chair of the brand new Literacy Committee, with the support of more than 15 enthusiastic committee members.
Numerous events and initiatives have sprung up since then, including holiday book fairs (intentionally coinciding with the East Milton Christmas tree lighting), a presence at block parties, a presence at the East Milton Halloween Stroll, and the rehabilitation of an elementary school library in the adjoining town of Hyde Park. But perhaps the most unique and tangible initiative was establishing East Church’s Little Free Library.
What’s a “Little Free Library?” Well, it turns out Little Free Libraries are a thing. An international thing at that. A sponsoring organization can purchase a cute enclosure (which looks sort of like a big birdhouse) and fill it with books. A visitor can borrow a book and return it either to the Little Free Library he or she borrowed it from or to any Little Free Library… in the world!
In fact, a Little Free Library site can register with the organization, and then that installation will be added to a Little Free Library registry. That’s exactly what East Church did and on October 6, 2015 we received notification that East Church’s library had been granted Charter #25357 and had been added to the World Map! You can visit the map and type in the zip code “02186” to see our listing.
Bob Gallagher, of the church’s Property Committee, put the exterior finish on our Little Free Library and planted it on a sturdy post on the church’s side lawn. A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony concluded the 2015 Crane Field block party, which was attended by East Church members and town and state officials including Katie Conlon, Chairman of the Milton Board of Selectman, and State Representative Walter Timilty.
Our commitment to promoting literacy will be ongoing. It’s fun to have this very tangible (and actively used) monument to our Literacy initiative.