By Arcadia Unified Digital Communications Intern Anya Yang
With the end of the school year just around the corner, the Senior Men and Women (SMW) of Arcadia High School have decided to bid the Home of the Apaches a farewell through words of wisdom that can be shared for generations via a “Little Free Library.”
Located in the Arcadia High D-Row’s AP Environmental Science garden, SMW built, painted, and planted a mini library filled with books for Arcadia High’s students.
Through a “take a book, leave a book” honor system, the library was created to encourage a passion for reading and further promote a love for literacy in students. SMW President Sarah Wang explained that they chose the project because “many AHS students become too caught up in extracurriculars and academics to read for the sake of reading, myself included.”
With the foot traffic of student passersby in the area, this convenient little library aims at inspiring students to discover new stories and gain more knowledge from the books shared in the Little Free Library’s wooden walls.
With Wang leading the charge, SMW’s 2018-19 cohort banded together to leave a token of appreciation for their time spent at Arcadia High School. Wang and the SMW crew were inspired by the nationwide Little Free Libraries movement. Little Free Library is a 501 nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to “inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
Wisconsin-born Todd Bol mounted a book-filled wooden container resembling a schoolhouse on his lawn in 2009, with a goal of establishing 2,510 little libraries–a number that would exceed the number of Carnegie Libraries. Currently, over 75,000 public book exchange stations around the world have been registered with the organization and branded as Little Free Libraries.
The primary architect for Arcadia High’s SMW’s Little Free Library project, Armand Minasian, explained that the team compiled a list of things they needed, built the box and painted it. “We kicked ideas around in our group chat but I didn’t implement any of them when making the house. It was really just born out of creativity; we had no formal blueprint to build from,” he explained. “We really had no plan going into building the house. I was just told to build a house that cost less than $100, so I was free to do pretty much anything that I wanted. I used mainly hand tools, except for a power saw and a routing tool that I borrowed for a day.”
It took about a week to gather all of the needed materials and two weeks to build. In total, Minasian spent 12 hours constructing the actual box and had two, one-hour painting sessions.
“I think we [SMW] can all say that we are extremely pleased with how it turned out, and we think that the community that is using it thinks the same. It was a great project for a great reason,” reflected Minasian.