Farmington, NM – This Friday the Farmington Police Department will be breaking ground on a new initiative aimed at connecting kids and police through book sharing. The initiative…Little Free Library book exchanges. The libraries will be placed at Jaycee Park and Mossman Gladden Park and will contain books for kids and adults. Installation begins tomorrow and dedications will take place next week.
The FPD District Coordinator Unit is spearheading the project. The idea came after DCU Officer Michele DeLese researched the topic and discovered the Little Free Library national non-profit organization. The organization’s Kids, Community & Cops program help law enforcement and civic groups create positive interactions with youth. The organization’s website explains,
Little Free Library book exchanges benefit community law enforcement efforts in four ways:
- Supporting literacy. Little Free Libraries improve book access and thus help improve low literacy rates. Recent research by the Department of Justice shows that low literacy is strongly connected to crime and delinquency; by providing book access, police officers help stop delinquency issues before they start.
- Forging new partnerships. A Little Free Library program can attract new partnerships with community groups and demonstrate a heightened commitment to neighborhoods served.
- Opening the door to additional services. Activities such as book drives, story times, and other events give reasons for officers to interact directly with kids and their parents. In addition to generally promoting public trust, these interactions have led adults to pursue other programs with their local police.
- Providing stories of community service. The colorful book exchanges and supportive interactions provide opportunities for positive publicity and make for great stories in the press, expanding the good feelings beyond the immediate neighborhood served.
The organization gave away 100 libraries through an application process; FPD applied and was awarded one. The second library was donated by a local community member. The Farmington Police Department hopes to expand this initiative in other neighborhoods throughout the city.
For more information about the Little Free Library organization, visit littlefreelibrary.org
Dedications will take place for each of the little libraries as follows:
Jaycee Park 1009 Cooper St
Tuesday, June 19
Mossman Gladden Park 2115 Camina Placer
Thursday, June 21
*Thursday dedication will include a ribbon cutting by the Chamber of Commerce Redcoats
Chief of Police Steve Hebbe will be at both dedications to read a story to the kids.
The FPD mobile command unit and bomb robot will be at both events.
The is a FREE public event
*Media is welcome to attend.