Little free libraries popping up in Pascagoula to encourage reading

Little free libraries popping up in Pascagoula to encourage reading

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - It's never been easier to pick up a book in Pascagoula. At several locations around the city people will find little libraries filled with books for anyone who wants to read them.

At Susan Kendrick's Pascagoula coffeehouse she noticed along with lattes and pastries, customers often want something to read.

"We have multiple customers who sit in here and read for hours every day," said Kendrick. "So we wanted to give that opportunity to everyone."

The people behind a program called Little Free Libraries Pascagoula are inspired to make books easily accessible to everyone. So far, Pascagoula Main Street and its partners have placed five stands around town.

"It's just like a library, only it's free. You come in. You take a book. Or you can leave a book," said Pascagoula Main Street President Michelle Coats. "We hope that people will bring the books back, but they don't have to. I think that if you give a kid a book, they're going to sit down and ready and it and hopefully they're going to learn from it and put it back and pass that on."

After only a week, the little libraries have become very popular, especially with the children living at Cambridge Park Apartments. The manager told WLOX the children were thrilled and the books went quickly.

Coats said, "We put it out last Thursday. I went and refilled it yesterday. I've had to put a few in mine at Pine Street Park."

Kendrick has a little free library at her coffee shop. She said Improving education in the community matters to her as a business owner and as a mom.

"It's important to me as a parent to have kids reading. I see the importance of reading in school," said Kendrick. "I see a lot of people coming in who say they haven't read a book since they got out of high school. They're having children. They need to see the importance of reading so they can pass that along as well."

Organizers say they hope to have about a dozen little free libraries around the city in the next few weeks. They will be at Jerry Lee's Grocery Store, Beach Park, Pinecrest Subdivision, Pascagoula Recreation Center, Scranton's Restaurant, Pine Street Park, Ingalls Avenue Baptist Church, Cambridge Apartments, Chicot Road Fire Station, Crazy B's Coffee and Confections, Sacred Heart, and the ball field near Pascagoula High School.

People can also donate books to the program at Whimsy Books and Toys.

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District built the book displays and the local artists decorated them.

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