Miami Lakes and Little Free Libraries are looking for sponsors

A little Free Library located in Picnic Park West in Miami Lakes. (taken by Fernando Portal/SFMN)

Miami Lakes and the nonprofit charity Little Free Library are looking for sponsors to build miniature libraries throughout the town.

Little Free Library is a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that tries to give people access to books free of charge. Small wood and metal libraries are set up in public areas where people can drop off and take books whenever they want. 

The nonprofit has won multiple awards since the first library was created in 2010. Last year, the organization was awarded the 2020 World Literacy Award from the World Literacy Foundation. It has also received the Library of Congress Literacy Award and was granted GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Julianne Mitchell, a stay-at-home mother, praised the charity for providing free books to children. 

“I think it’s great that kids can go to a park and come home with stuff to read,” she said. “My kids love to read and having an area where they can get all the books they want is great. 

She showed appreciation for how the community has supported the library.

“People are always filling it up with books and there are always plenty of options for people to read. The fact that people keep supporting the library shows that they actually care about the community.” 

To sponsor a Little Free Library, fill out a sponsorship form and write a check for $860 made out to Miami Lakes. The $860 pays for the library, a tribute plaque, installation and a few books to start off with. 

Sixto Mestre, an entrepreneur who owns a gardening supply store, said that he would love to be a sponsor.

“Sponsoring one of these libraries sounds like a great idea,” he said. “It’s not too expensive and it’s a great way to help the community. I feel like people don’t read enough and having a ton of books available for free can encourage people to read a book or two.”

He also stated how useful a Little Free Library is right now with COVID-19 making it more difficult to go to a regular public library. 

“It’s nice having a place outdoors where you can just grab books without having to be stuck in a room with somebody else,” he said. “You never know who might be sick, so grabbing books without coming into contact with anyone is really useful.”

Fernando Portal is a journalism major at FIU. He is a senior who plans on going to law school after graduation.