NORFOLK, Va - Brightly colored boxes full of books are dotting Norfolk neighborhoods. They're the newest project from Friends of the Norfolk Public Library.
"It reflects that books, connections, community is what we are all looking for. We want to be connected and this is just one marvelous way to do it," explained Ellen Selig, President of the organization. "The purpose of these libraries is to build community spirit."
According to organizers, Little Free Libraries began popping up in Wisconsin three years ago, now they are calling Norfolk home.
"Unlike some projects where you are trying to recover from a tragedy this is just pure positive. Neighbors are helping neighbors and sharing what they have. It is amazing," said Selig.
Anyone can access the libraries which are filled with books, games and (sometimes)treats specific to each neighborhood. Books can even be contributed from a neighbor's own personal library.
According to organizers, enough funding has been raised for 20 Little Libraries to be put up in Norfolk. Now the organization is looking for volunteers who are willing to become stewards for the libraries. Organizers say a steward's main job is to maintain the library and to make sure that the community around it understands what it is.
"I thought it was going to be this task that I was taking on and take a lot of time and energy," said Patti Glowatsky, a current steward. "It's not at all, it really takes care of itself."
While the work to maintain the library is low, Glowatsky says the rewards of managing a Little Free Library is high.
"There is nothing more exciting than to look out my window and see a mom and a kid at the library trying to pick out a book. That fills my heart with joy."
A map of where the 20 Little Free Libraries are in Norfolk can be found here. For more information about how you can become involved in the project, contact the Friends of the Norfolk Public Library via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook at @FNPLva . They can also be reached by phone at 757-489-4504.