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Orem, United Way of Utah County partner to fill lending libraries

By Ashtyn Asay - | Dec 1, 2021

Courtesy United Way of Utah County

Community members can take any book or add a book to the Little Free Library.

The City of Orem has partnered with the United Way of Utah County Everyday Learners in an effort to collect children’s books to fill free lending libraries across Utah County.

The free lending libraries are from Little Free Library, a nonprofit based in Wisconsin. Little Free Library provides book-sharing boxes that can be purchased or granted to areas in need. These boxes allow 24/7 free access to books, removing the typical barriers that could inhibit individuals from accessing books, such as library hours or book store prices.

This partnership is part of the United Way’s Everyday Learners Initiative, which aims to improve literacy levels in Utah County

“Several years ago, United Way of Utah County’s community assessment found that the 3rd-grade reading scores in Utah County were falling. Studies have shown that if a child is not at reading level by 3rd grade they are less likely to graduate from high school.” reads the initiative’s website. “In response to this data, United Way of Utah County initiated the EveryDay Learners initiative to increase focus on literacy in Utah County.”

The mini-libraries will be placed in various Utah County neighborhoods and outside schools, and the books inside will be completely free to take with no expectation of being returned.

Anyone wishing to donate to this project should make sure that their books are new or gently used, and are age-appropriate for kids from infancy through 8th grade. Books in poor condition cannot be distributed and will be disposed of, and books should be disinfected before donation.

Board books, picture books and early chapter books are preferred. Encyclopedias, textbooks, books of a religious nature, or adult romance novels cannot be distributed. Donated books can be dropped off at the south side entrance of the Orem City Offices at 56 N. State St.

For more information on how to host a book drive in your own community, there are resources available on the United Way Just Serve website. Little Free Libraries can be located online at http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/.

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