United Way of Greater Lorain County Installs and Unveils Little Free Library at Clearview's Durling Middle School

10.3.19 – United Way of Greater Lorain County installed and unveiled a Little Free Library at Clearview's Durling Middle School on Thursday, Oct. 3 in partnership with Clearview Local Schools, the Common VIEW Community Collaborative and PolyOne Corporation.

Little Free Library is a national free book exchange that encourages individuals and families to take a book and leave a book. Millions of books are exchanged each year through Little Free Libraries world-wide, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Little Free Libraries play an essential role by providing access to books and encouraging a love of reading in areas where books are scarce.

Common VIEW - which stands for Vision for Improved Education and Wellness - is one of the 11 Community Collaboratives powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County and focuses on improving the mental and physical health of middle school students in the Clearview, Midview and Firelands school districts.

“This is awesome to have a Little Free Library because often times our kids can’t get to books outside of school, so having this for them right outside of the school is awesome,” said Clearview Schools Superintendent Jerome Davis. “We’ve been a partner in Common VIEW for several years now and the partnership has made so many things available to us and provided access to things like the Little Free Library, so it really has been great for Durling Middle School.”

Getting books into the hands of children and their families is an important initiative for United Way of Greater Lorain County and Little Free Libraries are one way for the agency to distribute books.

“Academically, children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children that grow up in homes with lots of books. And studies show that about 60 percent of low to moderate income families do not have any age-appropriate books at home for their kids,” said Ryan Aroney, United Way of Greater Lorain County marketing and engagement director. “One of the most successful ways to improve reading achievement of children is to increase their access to books, especially at home. This project was a fun way for us to engage our partners from PolyOne Corporation in a meaningful way that helps students and families at one of our partner school districts here in Clearview.”

Six Little Free Libraries were constructed in August by 17 volunteers from PolyOne Corporation at United Way’s Stephen J. Ross Volunteer Engagement Hub. All six will be installed throughout Lorain County in neighborhoods without Little Free Libraries. United Way of Greater Lorain County will also manage distribution routes to replenish and update the books inside each library. 

Contact United Way of Greater Lorain County at 440-277-6530 if interested in volunteering to construct future projects or delivering books.