MARQUETTE - Walking along Baraga Avenue this spring may prove to be a lesson in literacy for some, with the street's newest addition - a Little Free Library.
"We're always in the middle of being dissatisfied," joked Jim Edwards, director of general programming for the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum, where the library will reside. "We've had a courtyard for a long time, we wanted to do something different with it."
The library - which will be permanently installed in the museum's courtyard in May - is the result of a partnership between the museum and a new organization started by Northern Michigan University freshman Haley Knight.
Northern Michigan University students, from left, Angie Wright, Brittnay Munger and Haley Knight put the finishing touches on a new Free Little Library at the U.P. Children’s Museum earlier this week. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
Jake Cho, a South Korean international student at NMU, fills the new Little Free Library. The students are part of ROTARACT, an NMU campus-based club for 18 to 30 year olds sponsored by local Rotary Clubs. The library will remain inside the museum until May, when it will be placed permanently outside for area residents to use. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
Knight, an international studies major, said after discovering there was no Rotary Club for students on campus, she contacted all three local Rotary groups and formed an on-campus ROTARACT club, a nationally recognized club for adults 18 to 30 vyears old that is sponsored by local Rotary Clubs.
One of the main goals of the group is to organize and conduct projects that will benefit the local community. Knight said she saw the Little Free Library as a great example of that ideal.
"We thought it would be a good community project for us," Knight said. "This is our first big one that we've done. It's kind of kicking our club off."
Edwards said the new addition to the museum will offer yet another way for parents to interact with kids, something Edwards said he tries to promote as often as he can.
"Parents and kids can read together," Edwards said.
There are two other Little Free Libraries in the Marquette area, according to the map on the organization's website - one each on Ortman Road and Silver Creek Road in Chocolay Township.
To see the full map of Little Free Libraries around the globe, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.