By DON STINE
People going to the beach or park in Deal should not have any problem finding reading material thanks to three Little Free Library stations recently installed there.
“We are excited for beach and park patrons to start using them, borrowing books that they love, and donating those that they would like to pass on,” said Amy Brenner, the Deal Casino’s Aquatics Director who began the new program in the borough.
Last month Deal officially opened its three Little Free Libraries located on beaches outside of the Conover Pavilion and the Deal Casino and at Harry Franco Park in memory of the late mayor.
Brenner decided to start the libraries because she saw them at other communities in the area and thought the families of Deal would love them. Little Libraries are usually strategically placed and contain a variety of books that people can borrow or take. People are also urged to put books into the stations.
“It is such a great idea and I thought we can definitely do that in Deal. And I hope people make use of it,” she said.
Books currently in the Little Libraries are from the beginner reading level to high school.
“But anybody can put different books in them,” Brenner said.
Brenner is a middle school math teacher in Clinton and her husband Gary, who is the Deal Casino’s Recreation Supervisor, is a high school physical education teacher in Middlesex.
When Brenner decided to start the libraries, she and her husband e-mailed the staff at their schools asking for book donations. The couple was astounded when they received hundreds of books donated by all of the teachers.
And is the program working?
“It is too early to tell because we just put them out but I have seen a few kids on the beach reading the books,” Brenner said.
In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother- a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard with a sign that said “Free Books.” The idea caught on and Little Libraries can now be found throughout the country.