A Little Free Library with a twist
By Marie Rein and Brenda Mueller
There is a new and somewhat different little library in Merrill. The Little Free Diverse Library, located near E. 3rd and Logan Streets across from Prairie River Middle School, is filled with books focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of diversity. The overall goal of this library is to encourage equal justice for people of all cultures and races. Fiction and nonfiction books for pre-schoolers through adults are included in the collection. All community members are invited to read the books and then return them to the Little Free Diverse Library for others to enjoy.
The Little Free Diverse Library is the brainchild of Sarah Kamya, a guidance counselor in New York City. A young woman of color, she recalls that she rarely encountered characters resembling herself in books that she read. Determined to provide diverse books for young readers, she set up a social media account and quickly received enough contributions to begin the first little diverse library in spring 2020.
Donations continue to pour in, making it possible for her to help set up little diverse libraries across the country. Merrill’s Little Free Diverse Library received several books from Sarah, with the majority of books being funded by members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Community members are welcome to contribute books emphasizing diversity as well.
Merrill’s Little Free Diverse Library was facilitated by project coordinators Brenda Mueller and Marie Rein. The little library, made in the likeness of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, was built by church member Mike Jirovec.