On Tuesday July 6, a ribbon cutting was held at Wilderness Park in Downey to reveal the newest addition; a Little Free Library. This bookshelf is free for all and is to be shared by whomever is in need.
The book sharing movement has become more popular through the last year as many libraries have been closed due to the pandemic. These book sharing boxes improve access to literacy as nothing is needed to borrow a book. Simply take one and give one in exchange if able.
Eagle Scout Sam Sarofeem Jr.,18, brought the idea of installing a Little Free Library at Wilderness Park to the City Mayor Claudia Marroquin-Frometa who was completely behind the project. Both Mayor Frometa and Mayor Pro Tem Blanca Pacheco were in attendance at the unveiling.
In her speech, Fromenta described the passion for which Sarofeem has to help the community and the importance of reading for adolescents, and notes “It is an outstanding project, every child should have an opportunity to have access to books everywhere they go… and these little libraries are a testament to Sam’s hard work… and a great service to the community”.
Pacheco thanked Sam Jr. for his community involvement going back to his days at middle school; “What a great and fabulous idea of having these little libraries at our parks,” said Mayor Pro Tem.
This library is one of nine others that Sarofeem has built as an Eagle Scout. Areas where you can find his “Little Libraries” can be found throughout Downey parks, including; Furman, Discovery, Golden, Dennis the Menace and Apollo, and of course Wilderness. Sam Jr. also installed libraries at Warren and Downey high schools.
Sarofeem Jr. has plans to continue to help his community along with the Boy Scouts organization and hopes that the Little Free Libraries encourage the youth of Downey to “make reading books a habit and hopes many people use these little libraries for free access to literacy”.
“I want to encourage the youth of Downey to make reading books a habit and hope people use these little libraries as free access to literacy“, said Sarofeem.
Sarofeem with the help of his parents Lupita and Sam Sarofeem Sr. and sister Sarah catered the event with food from the families restaurant, The Olive Restobar as well provided refreshments courtesy of Kona Ice Company.
Up to now, the little library is stocked with children’s books. Residents are invited to take one, leave one.