Little Free Library launched at USM | THE DAILY HERALD

Rotary members with management of USM during the presentation of the Little Free Library.

PHILIPSBURG–Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset launched its first Little Free Library on the Dutch side of the island at University of St. Martin (USM) in the presence of USM President Antonio Carmona-Baez, Dean Rolinda Carter and Rotary Sunset members last week.

The concept of the Little Free Library was initially introduced in 2009 by Rotarian Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, and the idea quickly spread throughout thousands of communities in the United States, with the goal of creating awareness of the importance of literacy.

The Little Free Library is not a new one for the island of St. Martin, as Rotary Sunset initially introduced the first Little Free Library in December with its launch on the Marigot waterfront. The main objective of the Little Free Library is to advocate the importance of reading and to promote literacy, a key area of focus for Rotary Clubs worldwide.

“We received an outpouring of support and encouragement from members of the community with the installation of our first little library on the French side, and we decided that there was a need to construct additional little libraries which would be installed at various locations around the island, especially given the dire state of the public libraries on both sides of the island.

“Today we are extremely grateful for the support of the management and staff of USM and for the generous donation of Minister of Tourism and Rotary Sunset member Stuart Johnson who sponsored this Little Free Library,” Rotary Sunset President Jaida Nisbett stated on Sunday.

Johnson expressed his gratitude to Rotary Sunset and to USM for giving him the opportunity to give back to his community.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back to USM and I am thankful to be a part of such a wonderful organisation which has enabled me to be able to give back to my community and to further promote literacy on our island with the installation of this little library. USM is dear to my heart, especially being a former student, and this is a small token of appreciation to show how much I appreciate USM,” he said.

Carmona-Baez thanked the club for its efforts in the community and for considering USM to house one of its Little Free Libraries.

“On behalf of the dean and myself, I would like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity for collaboration. As a new resident on the island, I have come to realise how important Rotary Clubs are to St. Maarten, and it is extremely nice to see that there are so many collaborative efforts, especially in the areas of education.

“I do believe this will have a tremendous impact on our students and all visitors who come by. We are truly proud of this collaborative effort and we look forward to many more in the future,” he said.

Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset encourages the public to pass by the little library, take a book and leave a book. Members of the community are urged to donate books they are no longer using to either of the club’s little libraries. The club also thanked Johnson for his generous donation and the USM team for their support.

Source: The Daily Herald