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Phippsburg, ME (October 7, 2021) - On the front lawn of Phippsburg Elementary School (PES) you’ll find a wood box in the shape of a tiny house sitting atop a post. At first you might wonder what it is – a giant birdhouse? – but step a little closer. It’s Phippsburg Elementary School’s Little Free Library, recently revitalized by 4th grade teacher Sandi Brann.
The library was one of two created and erected by The Academy Program at Morse High School in partnership with local veterans from the Bath VFW in 2018. The other library was delivered to Woolwich Central School.
“We had a school-wide ribbon cutting ceremony when the library was unveiled with several community members as well as the students and teacher who built it,” Brann said. “The initial excitement has died down since then, though.”
Brann’s interest in the little structure was piqued when she attended a webinar called Ending Book Deserts, which discussed ways to increase basic access to age-appropriate, high-quality reading materials for children.
“It made me think of our little library, and how much we could do with it,” she said.
Brann decided to take the Little Free Library under her wing.
“I started by asking my class what kind of books they would like to see in the library. Some wanted chapter books, some wanted graphic novels, and others wanted ‘books for little kids’ that they could read with their younger siblings.”
Brann, who has always had a passion for reading and recently achieved her provisional librarian certification, began filling the library with her own collection of advanced readers’ copies (pre-publication copies of a book sent out before launch), little-used books from the school’s library, and donations from local public libraries.
Brann also took the step of registering the library to the official worldwide database of Little Free Libraries. She hopes to engage students and families in a little repainting and repair work before relaunching the library to the community.
“I’d love for our students to make a PSA about it. I want the community to know it’s here. Our Little Free Library isn’t just for students; it’s for the community,” Brann said. “Anyone should feel free to stop by and borrow a book.”
Photo: Sandi Brann next to PES’s Little Free Library