“We decided we wanted to create a ‘no rules’ type of access to get books in the hands of our youth,” Jacobson said. “Another issue teens have run into is checking out books and then racking up late fees, because they couldn’t get back to the library in time to return the books. We don’t want that to deter anyone from getting a book in their hands. The most important thing is that these kids are reading.”
That’s how the mini library idea was born. “I’ve been hearing that a lot of the books are going home, which is what we want,” Jacobson said. “The mini library is a hit. It’s up and running.” More than 300 books have been collected from the public library and Woman’s Club members. “We are accepting ongoing donations for books,” Jacobson said. “We’re looking for youth, teen and adult titles. And if anyone has any books in Creole, there is also a need for those.”
Kae Jonsons, director of development and community relations for Delray Beach Public Library, said she is excited about the mini library.
“We believe children who read succeed,” Jonsons said. “By providing library services to teens, we can open the door to other services the library offers. Libraries are so much more than books. We help many young people gain access to resources that lead them to their first job and beyond.”
There are also plans in the works to bring some library programming to the 505 Teen Center in the coming months.
Mykal Banta, the interim library director, is also enthusiastic about the project. “Access to free books is crucial,” Banta said. “It’s also great to be working with the Woman’s Club of Delray Beach, who started our library 104 years ago.”
The Teen Center is located at 505 SE Fifth Ave. in Delray Beach. For more information on the mini library, contact the Teen Center at 561-243-7158.
(Article written by Joannie Cox Henry, South Florida Sun Sentinel – January 21, 2017)