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'Little Free Library' Comes to Bridgeport

By Casey Cora | October 14, 2013 9:00am
 The Darst Center has installed a "Little Free Library" book exchange outside its headquarters.
Little Free Library Comes to Bridgeport
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BRIDGEPORT — Next time you find yourself strolling around 28th Street and Normal Avenue, look for the little box and grab a book.

Or bring one to share.

That's the idea behind the Little Free Library, an international initiative that aims to bring the take-a-book-leave-a-book program to public places in an effort to promote literacy and build community.

Workers at the Br. David Darst Center, a Christian group that promotes social justice, debuted their humble contribution earlier this month.

It's a painted plywood box with a clear front panel that sits atop a wooden post wedged into a concrete block for stability. The box contains a special plaque certifying it as an official Little Library.

It's already a hit, with about 15 books removed so far.

"It's kind of cleaned out of books in here. We noticed kids' books were the first to go," said Josh Grode Wolters, program coordinator for the Darst Center, 2834 S. Normal Ave.

Grode Wolters said the group plans to bring in more kids books in English, Spanish and Mandarin languages, and residents are encouraged to leave books they feel are worth sharing.

The idea for bringing the program to Bridgeport came from the group's monthly focus on a social issue. In October, that's literacy.

Earlier this month, the Darst Center hosted a community discussion led by Mary List with the Children's Literacy Initiative. The talk was aimed at creating reading practices and tips on identifying good books to read with children, among other topics.