Fifteen new Little Free Libraries installed around CU

A+Little+Free+Library+dropbox+sits+outside+of+the+Busey+Bank+located+on+909+W.+Kirby+Ave.+on+Tuesday+afternoon.+There+are+currently+28+Little+Free+Libraries+in+Champaign-Urbana.

Samantha Boyle

A Little Free Library dropbox sits outside of the Busey Bank located on 909 W. Kirby Ave. on Tuesday afternoon. There are currently 28 Little Free Libraries in Champaign-Urbana.

By Samantha Boyle, Managing Editor for Reporting

As of Monday, Busey Bank has installed 15 new Little Free Libraries around the community.

Little Free Libraries are small house-like stands that open up to at least two shelves with books. More than 80,000 Little Free Libraries exist in 91 countries, according to a Busey Bank press release. From these libraries, more than 120 million books have been shared.

Most locations of these libraries are in Illinois and Wisconsin, but there are locations in Florida. At least one library is also located in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Australia, India, Italy and several other countries.

The idea of Little Free Libraries is to increase access to books and reading by curating stands and encouraging book exchanges. Patrons of these libraries are encouraged to exchange books, as well — take a book, leave a book.

In September, customers and associates of Busey Bank donated more than 5,000 books to the Busey Book Drive, some of which were used as the first donation to the Little Free Library at Busey Bank at 909 W. Kirby Ave.

In Champaign-Urbana, there are currently 28 Little Free Libraries, according to the Little Free Library map search tool. This does not include the 15 new ones that are being installed by Busey Bank.

In order to install a library, “librarians” have to take a few steps beforehand, including scouting out a location, building or ordering a library and registering the library. If the library is ordered through the Little Free Library’s website, it will automatically be registered.

“Building and installing Little Free Libraries is a small way to make a big impact in our communities,” said President and CEO of Busey Bank Robin Eilliott in the press release. “This creative partnership provides access to free books, allowing for improved literacy and education while fulfilling the Busey Promise by bringing people and resources together to generate positive change in the places we live and work.”

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