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Friday, November 2, 2018

Literacy Network receives 50 Little Free Libraries

The Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati (LNGC) recently received 50 Little Free Libraries. Little Free Library founder, Todd Bol, drove 680 miles from the non-profit’s headquarters in Hudson, Wisconsin to personally deliver all 50 libraries.

Elder High School students kindly assisted the Literacy Network with unloading the libraries early in the morning. These students are members of Elder’s community service program and have been trained by the Literacy Network to be reading tutors.

After the delivery, LNGC staff and Todd Bol were joined by Mayor John Cranley, many of LNGC’s Little Free Library board committee and other Little Free Library supporters. The committee includes Katy Meinhardt, Anne Zaring, Angela Ginty, John Busam, Jason Shorten, and Ken Feldmann. Those in attendance enthusiastically welcomed this important community effort led by the Literacy Network.

Elder High School students assist the Literacy Network with the unloading of 50 Little Free Libraries. Griffin Kelley, Michelle Otten Guenther, Michael Bittner, Evan Vollmer, Annie Schneider, Sam Hargett, Kim McDermott, Todd Bol, Aidan Corey, Spencer Bernard, Liz Priestle, Jarod Timmers, Shannon Lienemann and Ed Jung
The statistics regarding literacy rates are startling. In low-income neighborhoods, there is only one age-appropriate book for every 300 children, and 61% of low income families do not have ANY books at home. 

Little Free Library Founder Todd Bol and Literacy Network President Michelle Otten Guenther 
Literacy Network President, Michelle Otten Guenther, stated, “This is unacceptable. Without access to reading materials, children are unable to develop an interest and confidence in reading. Fortunately, we receive thousands of book donations each year, and Little Free Libraries are the perfect conduit to get books into the hands of children and families who need them most.”

The goal is to place all 50 libraries in low-income neighborhoods so children and families throughout the community will have easy access to age-appropriate books. The Literacy Network received two grants totaling $25,000 to help support the implementation and growth of the Little Free Library initiative. These funds will help purchase the libraries, stock books and support the general upkeep of the libraries. 

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley (right) stopped down to kick off the Little Free Library initiative with Director of External Relations Annie Schneider (left).
The Literacy Network champions the development of literacy in the individual, the family, the workplace, the school and the community by raising awareness, improving access and serving as a catalyst for literacy efforts. The Literacy Network has a suite of free programs including the Children’s Basic Reading Program, Adult Basic Reading Program, Winners Read, Winners Walk Tall, and the Literacy Hotline. Little Free Libraries is a new initiative taken on by LNGC to ensure that children have access to books in neighborhoods where they are scarce. 

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

For more information on the Literacy Network’s Little Free Library program, please visit

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