By Amanda Formica
NATICK – – On July 7 and 9, 2022, 32 adults and kids from 13 Natick families and 1 Framingham family took part in a free workshop at the Morse Institute Library to build and take home their own Little Free Library (LFL), increasing the number of certified LFLs in Natick from 24 to 37 – a 54% increase.
The Natick Little Free Library Community Build brought Natick families and neighbors together during summer reading season and took them step by step through the process of building, completing, and installing their own Little Free Library (LFL) to expand access to books and strengthen community ties. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries.
The Little Free Library construction took place on July 9 at the Morse Institute Library and was facilitated by local carpenter, DIYer, and educator Farid Quraishi and Natick community member Amanda Formica. Workshop participants learned safety tips for construction, how to use their Little Free Library as a tool for neighborhood engagement, heard from an Little Free Library builder and elementary school teacher in Medellin, Colombia, and went step by step through the process of building their libraries together at a pace friendly for all ages and abilities. They were also able to fill their libraries with books for kids and adults thanks to the Morse Institute Library.
All the Little Free Libraries include registration on the official Little Free Library website, www.littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap.
“LFLs are critical tools for engagement and community building, and we are excited to support this initiative with free books for our new LFL stewards and spread enthusiasm for reading throughout Natick,” said Rose Huling, Bookmobile and Outreach Services Coordinator at the Morse Institute Library.
“Providing programs such as the LFL Build enriches our community; this project will continue to benefit Natick, as there are 14 more LFL’s providing books for all!” said Suzanne Gorum, Programming Librarian at Morse Institute Library.
This community volunteer-run workshop was held with support from the Morse Institute Library.
This program is also supported in part by a grant from the Natick Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, as well as additional generous financial sponsorship from Mathworks, Eversource, and Natick Center Cultural District, which allowed Little Free Library kits valued at $220 each to be made available free of charge.
A Natick Little Free Library tour is being organized for Saturday, October 1 in collaboration with the Morse Institute Library and more information will be forthcoming on https://morseinstitute.org/.