To share her love of the written word with a younger generation of kids, Pasadena resident Sarah Giddings installed a Little Free Library at Tick Neck Park as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The “library” looks like a cross between a mailbox and a birdhouse, and it’s just as charming. Borrowers are free to stop by, browse through the handful of books, and borrow one. They’re also encouraged to leave a book for others.
“I heard about Little Free Libraries years ago,” Sarah said. “My mom, Susan Giddings, saw it on some Facebook post or something and she thought I'd be interested.”
Sarah admitted that her dad did most of the building. “He’s a woodworker by trade,” she explained. “I came up with most of the design, and I painted it white and turquoise.”
Sarah worked with Kelly Carter, branch manager of the Riviera Beach Library, to develop a literacy information brochure, which she'll have in the library box and at the Riviera Beach Library, which also donated books.
The little library was a natural choice for her project, Sarah said. “I go to the library all the time, and my favorite place to bike is up to Tick Neck Park,” she said. “… I believe literacy is so important, especially during the ages of 0 to 3. That's when children’s brains are going through the greatest development.”
Sarah agreed that her own development was furthered by her passion for reading. “I've been reading my whole life; it's one of my favorite things to do, and I think that reading is one of the most important things that anyone can do,” she said. “I’m also a writer, and I want to get published. I read and write the same genre, sci-fi/fantasy, though I enjoy realistic fiction sometimes. My favorite authors that inspired me to write when I was a kid are J.K. Rowling, Brandon Mull, and my most favorite, Rick Riordan.”
Giddings said she started Girl Scouts as a kindergartner living in Tennessee, and her mom led a troop for six years. After she moved to Maryland, she joined Troop 473, which she described as a “small group of five girls.”
“I love hanging out with my friends and all of our big adventures,” Sarah said. “The summer after sixth-grade, we went to Savannah, Georgia, for a week, and last summer, we went to Europe for two weeks. I love my troop.”
Sarah just finished her sophomore year at Archbishop Spalding High School. In addition to reading and writing, she enjoys singing.
The rising junior said the little library is for anyone but especially for children who don't go to a library. “The book they get here may be the only book they'll have in their house,” she said. “They can come here to play on the playground and read. We're bringing books to the community.”