Supervisor Vargas, the library opened the first small county library in Chula Vista | New
County Supervisor Nora Vargas, Chula Vista Town Officials, County Library Officials, Families and Children on Saturday opened a new library at Lauderbach Park in Chula Vista – a “little library” for families local, one of 40 the county plans to help install in the county in the coming months.
Small libraries look like large mailboxes, but they are actually neighborhood exchanges where people can borrow freely or leave books for others. The small library opened on Saturday in Chula Vista was filled with age-appropriate books in different languages, including “The Thank You Book”, “Can I Play Too? “And” Dora La Exploradora “.
“These (small libraries) are small neighborhood libraries that can be set up in our communities to allow anyone to have access to books closer to home,” Supervisor Vargas said during Saturday’s ribbon cutting. . “As a county, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We want to inspire children and encourage everyone to read. Soon we will be opening more small libraries in the South Bay area, with locations in San Ysidro, Otay and one in Paradise Hills.
Led by Vargas, the county supervisory board voted in March to create a Small Libraries initiative to boost literacy in low-income and black communities by giving people and children living in those communities more opportunities to have and read books at home.
Vargas then said that the county library had “been fantastic” in promoting and increasing literacy through its 33 branch libraries, digital and electronic books, services and programs.
However, she said families in some neighborhoods face barriers, such as lack of transportation, which prevent them from taking advantage of side libraries, or financial constraints that hamper internet access and purchase of books.
Small libraries can help solve this problem by putting books into communities and promoting and encouraging reading at home – a big boost for literacy.
In 2020, the San Diego Council on Literacy reported that about 560,000 local adults read at the elementary school level, or not at all, and that 60% of low-income students did not have books at home. . Officials said on Saturday that this disparity was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Vargas told the public on Saturday that she was heartbroken to learn when she was on the board of directors of Southwestern College that it takes six years for community college students to move on to four-year colleges because ‘they needed additional language and literacy education.
County Library Director Migell Acosta said research has shown having as few as 20 books in a home can have a positive effect on a child’s education level, regardless of income. . Library officials said the county bought 40 small libraries from the National Organization of Free Small Libraries for about $ 28,000.
The county library and the county parks and recreation department each plan to install 20 in the coming months in the county. With the one opening Saturday at Lauderbach Park, the county has already set up small libraries in Chula Vista, Bonita and San Diego, and has plans for many other communities including Borrego Springs, Campo, Julian, El Cajon, Lakeside, Vista and Oceanside. .
The library, thanks to donations from the San Diego Literacy Council, Words Alive, and the Children’s Initiative, will be launching each of the Small Library’s collections with books.
Library officials said they have also worked with other library jurisdictions, county departments, community organizations and volunteer groups as part of the Little Library Initiative.
For more information on the County Library and small free libraries, visit the library’s webpage.