Mainstreet Realtors install Little Free Libraries across Chicago area
Books can be life-changing, but the coronavirus pandemic has limited many children's access to books as libraries and schools have been forced to cut in-person programs.
To ensure that local residents have alternative resources, the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors and its members installed 15 Little Free Libraries across the Chicago area.
These free libraries, which hold around 20 books each, encourage community members to take part in book exchanges, by taking and leaving books free of charge.
The Mainstreet libraries can be found outside of schools, churches, offices and homes and offer community members a much needed opportunity. Books are shown to improve writing, conversational skills, self-discipline, subject-matter expertise and much more -- critical skills for children to develop. Approximately 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read, and if the country is going to close this literacy gap, young people need access to reading materials as well as reading education.
"At the beginning of the pandemic, we all lost the ability to visit our public libraries and thus, access to books. Many schools and libraries remain closed and these little libraries give us back the gift of literature," said Linda Dressler, president of Mainstreet Organization of Realtors board of directors. "We felt compelled to make a difference in our local communities and Little Free Libraries seemed like the perfect way for our members to do their part."
Mainstreet members submitted applications to have Little Free Libraries installed in their cities or towns. Fifteen members were chosen and Mainstreet funded the projects thanks to a megagrant from the National Association of Realtors.
The program installed Little Free Libraries in Blue Island, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Fox Lake, Glendale Heights, Grayslake, Hainesville, Homewood, Lombard, Maywood, Niles, Palatine (two locations) and Tinley Park (two locations).
There are over 100,000 Little Free Libraries around the world in over 70 counties.
Mainstreet and its members are proud to encourage communities to share books they love and inspire the next generation to enjoy reading.
To learn more about the organization, visit www.succeedwithmore.com.