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Bath YMCA to launch 'Little Free Library'

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Bath YMCA to launch 'Little Free Library'

BATH — The Bath Area Family YMCA will soon be home to a structure that resembles a little house, but in fact holds a miniature library for all ages.

The YMCA, with the Patten Free Library's Teen Library Council, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for this "Little Free Library" in the lobby of the 303 Centre St. Y on Friday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. (Monday, Dec. 16, in case of snow).

Roberta Jordan, a Patten librarian who coordinates the teen council's work, said the little library – built by the father of council member Mallory Goodine, and painted by her – even comes with roof shingles, and is painted with roughly the same color scheme as the actual library.

"I think that a Little Free Library is important because it promotes reading to all ages, as well as gives a little sense of a community bonding over books," Goodine said. "People take books, and then later will hopefully leave books they love in hopes that someone will read and enjoy them. It becomes a continuous cycle of happy people and happy reading."

The structure has two shelves that could each hold between 10 and 15 adult, young adult and children's books, according to Jordan. Council members will donate books to launch the endeavor, the library's book store is donating adult fiction, and Jordan said she has been searching through the books of her adult children to see what else can be added.

Little Free Libraries are the result of an international movement to advocate literacy and a love for reading through the creation of free book exchanges. More than 10,000 of them exist around the globe, according to the library. The small, custom-made boxes stand in public spots and go by the mantra of "take a book, leave a book."

"When our Teen Library Council members saw the Little Free Library web site, they knew right away that this was something they wanted to be part of," Jordan said in a Patten press release. "... The YMCA was equally enthusiastic about being the first location in Bath to have a Little Free Library. The project came together really quickly."

Anyone who wants to build or steward such a miniature library in the Bath area can contact Goodine at mpgoodine@yahoo.com, or Jordan at the library at 443-5141, ext. 25. Log onto littlefreelibrary.org for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.