Belleville Teen Builds ‘Little Free Libraries’ to Promote Reading

BELLEVILLE, IL. (KPLR) – A Belleville teenager working on becoming an Eagle Scout wanted to promote reading and sharing with a scout project.  So he built free libraries. Brendan Heidenfelder, 17, said he learned of Little Free Library from a friend and quickly found out they were a hit in cities around the country, including Chicago. Heidenfelder decided to build four in Belleville.

The Little Free Libraries are boxes, placed in public, so people can take and share books. Heidenfelder drew up plans, put together a budget and asked the community for donations. He built four ‘Little Free Libraries’ at $150 each. Heidenfelder scattered them across Belleville; two are placed near a school and church, and The Bank of Edwardsville branches have the others.

Heidenfelder admits two of them are geared for kids, but he hopes adults use them too. He says he doesn’t want it to become a dumping ground for unwanted books, but a place where people can meet and share what they’re reading and encourage others to do the same.

You can find a “Little Free LIbrary” near you by visiting the movements website here.

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