Little Free Libraries Debut on Campus

Associate Professor Allan Saxe (Political Science) inspects a free library kiosk, one of three recently added to the UT Arlington campus. Saxe donated funds to build the small library stands. (Photo contributed)
Associate Professor Allan Saxe (Political Science) inspects a free library kiosk, one of three recently added to the UT Arlington campus. Saxe donated funds to build the small library stands. (Photo contributed)

Take a book, leave a book. That’s the simple premise behind the worldwide Little Free Library movement that arrived on campus this January.

Four Allan Saxe Little Free Libraries are located around campus to encourage students, staff, and faculty to read for fun and discover new authors and genres in a risk-free way. Locations are the Fine Arts Building breezeway near the Center St. bridge; Arlington Hall breezeway; Hammond and Trimble Hall breezeway, and Carlisle Hall plaza.;

A kickoff party will be held noon Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the Carlisle Hall location.

Named for Associate Professor Allan Saxe (Political Science), these Little Free Libraries offer free books to anyone who stops by. Once a visitor has read the book, they can return it to the Little Free Library, pass it to a friend, or replace it with another book. There is no checkout procedure, no fees, and no due dates. Readers are encouraged to leave notes for future readers and add their own selections to the collection.

The idea for the Allan Saxe Little Free Libraries started last summer when Assistant Professor Peggy Semingson (Curriculum and instruction) and Evelyn Barker, director of marketing and communications for UTA Libraries, met through a mutual colleague.

“I kept reading about little free libraries online and thought UTA should participate in them. It encourages and reminds people to read for fun,” said Semingson.

Barker was also reading about them and thinking how they could be a fun addition for campus. “We both had the same thought at the same time,” she said. “It was perfect timing for us to meet.”

Together, Barker and Semingson approached Saxe about sponsoring the project.

“Dr. Saxe has always been a great supporter of the campus and community and we thought a project like this would be something he would be interested in,” Barker said. Saxe not only backed the Little Free Library boxes, but he encouraged his students to help decorate them. Two Little Free Libraries were decorated by students, one by the UTA Writing Center and one by Semingson.

“We are very thankful to all the people who helped us get this idea off the ground: Dr. Saxe, the UTA Libraries, the students, the Writing Center, and UTA facilities personnel,” said Barker. “We hope people enjoy the books.”

For more information, contact Peggy Semingson at peggys@uta.edu, Evelyn Barker at ebarker@uta.edu, or like The University of Texas at Arlington-Allan Saxe Little Free Libraries on Facebook.

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(SOURCE: UTA Libraries News Service)

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