Forget to bring your book to a park? Looking to share one of your favorite reads? Best Beginnings, in collaboration with Anchorage Park Foundation, has finished the installation of 10 new Little Free Libraries in 10 parks throughout Anchorage.
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, leave a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community; little libraries have been called “mini-town squares.”
This project is made possible by a very special family and their friends. Best Beginnings was awarded a community challenge grant through the Anchorage Park Foundation to get the project started, but it was up to the community to raise the other half of the funds and volunteer energy needed to make it happen. Jason Roberts in Oregon learned about our project and wanted to help make it a reality – and a lasting memorial for his son, Zachary James Roberts, who passed away in 2020. Zach was a voracious reader and felt a deep personal connection to Alaska. Mr. Roberts launched an online fundraiser to support Little Free Libraries in Anchorage parks, and donations came in from people around the world, including Oregon, Alabama, Wisconsin, the Netherlands, and Norway!
We are so grateful to the Roberts family and are dedicating the Little Free Library in Campbell Park with a tribute plate in Zach’s name. Best Beginnings will be the steward for this Little Free Library as it is centrally located, recently renovated, and a favorite of young children and their families.
The other nine Little Free Libraries are managed by community councils, service organizations, and neighboring schools and will feature a plaque naming the steward:
Brotherhood Sisterhood Park
Pop Carr Park
Chanshtnu Muldoon Park
Jewel Lake Park
Through a partnership with volunteers, the Anchorage Park Foundation, and Anchorage Parks and Recreation, the Little Free Libraries were built, painted, and installed. You can see many of the designs in the photos below. Throughout the winter, and especially summer, park stewards will continue to check on the libraries and refill them with children’s books. Of course we hope that you and your family also come to “take a book, leave a book!”
Have you visited one of our public little free libraries yet? Post a photo on tag us @bestbeginningsalaska on Facebook or Instagram!