There are two well-kept secrets (and perhaps many more) in the community of North Riverside. What are they? Two Little Libraries. 

What is a Little Library? A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. 

The North Riverside Little Free Libraries book exchanges are the brainchild of Miss Jenna Q., a recent graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School and currently a freshman at Purdue University. Jenna developed this project as a Girl Scout and won Girl Scout’s Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls (and the most difficult to earn). 

As an avid reader and frequent patron of the North Riverside Public Library, Jenna wants you to visit these “little gems” and share in this creative endeavor. One is located at the Tot Spot Park (14th Street and 24th Avenue) and the other is located in Commons Park, 2401 Desplaines Ave, just south of the gazebo.

You are welcome to take a book at any time, and if you wish, you can leave a book, but leaving a book is not required. You will find books for children, teens and adults on all subjects. 

Little Libraries are a wonderful invention and are catching on everywhere. The benefits include many, such as promoting literacy, meeting new neighbors and connecting with the community, providing access to books 24/7, serving as an alternative to “screens,” discovering a way to donate those books sitting in your basement, attic, garage and much more.

Take a walk, drive or bike to one of these nifty little sites. You won’t be disappointed.

Barbara E. Silvestri

North Riverside