June 2, 2016

Little Free Library Auction to benefit Hilton special education classroom

Are you interested in having a Little Free Library of your very own? Students in Jamie Melos’ 12:1:1 class at Merton Williams Middle School in Hilton have constructed Little Free Libraries that are currently up for auction. The proceeds will go back into the classroom to help fund future projects and an eighth grade trip to Washington, DC in spring 2017.

Little Free Libraries look like fancy little mailboxes on people’s front lawns, but they’re not filled with mail. They’re filled with books that are free for the taking. Little Free Libraries started springing up in 2009 after Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard – and his neighbors and friends loved it. Bol built several more and gave them away, each one with a sign that read “Free Books.” Now, there are over 32,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 countries around the world.

Locally, Hilton Board of Education Trustee Michelle Ames teamed up with Angela Boccuzzi-Reichert, library media specialist at Merton Williams Middle School, to teach a Hilton Community Education course on Little Free Libraries. From that project also came the idea of working with middle school students to create libraries and help spread literacy. They recruited Phil D’Agostino, technology teacher, Melos and Teacher Assistant Lora Leo, and the Hilton Little Free Library movement began.

Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, the students worked with D’Agostino to create two beautiful libraries that are up for auction. Each one is ready to be mounted and will come with a starter set of books for all ages. Bids start at $40. Shipping is not available. To see the Little Free Libraries and place a bid, visit http://littlefreeauctions.com/auctions/ Bidding ends Friday, June 17 at 6 p.m.