Little Free Library Installed In Sterling Celebration Garden
STERLING, VA — A Little Free Library has been installed at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Celebration Garden. The library is part of a Boy Scout Eagle Project, the church said. Ethan Gramling from Troop 966 built the library. It is the fifth Boy Scout Eagle Project to benefit the Celebration Garden, according to a news release. Little Free Libraries are an international effort to make reading more accessible to people all over the globe. According to their website, Little Free Libraries are the largest book-sharing movement in the world. Gramling's project has already received praise from other volunteers. "The custom cabinet he built fit like a glove into the niche," said garden manager Heidi Lathrop. "It is backed and inset with clear plexiglass so you can see the plants growing behind the books." Photo courtesy of the St. Matthew's Episcopal. The new Little Free Library is located at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Celebration Garden, 201 E. Frederick Dr. Sterling, VA. The Celebration Garden's library joins nearby book-sharing locations at the Claude Moore Community Center and Chesterbrook Academy. "In this digital age, it is such a treat to hold a physical book," Lathrop said. Lathrop is not alone in that sentiment; a 2019 survey from Canon found that 65 per cent of respondents preferred physical books rather than digital copies. However, access to libraries is not always equal for people of different backgrounds. A study from New America, a D.C.-based think tank, found that during the pandemic, libraries needed to expand their outreach to people of color, low-income people, and those without internet access. Little Free Libraries help to address these systemic shortcomings. No sign-up or residency proof is required to use a Little Free Library; participants are just asked to leave a book when they can. "All are welcome to select a book to read in the tranquil garden among the flowers & vegetables or take a book or two home to enjoy," Lathrop said. More information about the Celebration Garden's previous projects and volunteer opportunities is available on their website.