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Oct 25, 2018

The Little Free Library is in Belize

Belize is the latest country to join the world wide movement of spreading the joy of reading through the Little Free Library. It is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. The libraries are small wooden boxes set up in public spaces used to encourage children to read and share their favorite books with their community. Andrea Polanco tells us about this latest community-based initiative.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Little Free Library was launched today in Belize City. These little boxes represent libraries which will be installed in easy to access areas. The Little Free Library operates under the honor system. You take a book and you leave a book, this way the content of the boxes is constantly changing. The initiative is one that aims to inspire and empower through reading.


Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women & Children

“The aim of this endeavor is to educate the young minds of our country and to promote reading in a generation where its value is slowly decreasing. Each child will be able to pick up a book or leave a book free of cost at any of our libraries. They will not have to worry about library fees or deadlines nor the cost of buying books. By doing this we are not only making books accessible to everyone but we are encouraging  children to share and ultimately raise awareness and increase appreciation for libraries and books on a whole.”


And while technology has changed the way we access information – books are still valuable to education – and can also be used to complement the digital resources. Here’s how one student explains one of the benefits of using traditional books – and why children should embrace the little library programme.


Christian Enriquez

Christian Enriquez, Student, James Garbutt Primary School

“Reading boosts your imagination and creativity. It exposes you to world of imagination and creativity. It is like a huge spider web where you keep linking more and more, the things you knew to the things you just learnt. Soon, you yourself will become that great writer. Best of all, reading takes you to places you have never been and probably will never go in your lifetime. Boys and girls, a good book is a great friend. Never stop reading. Grab a book today and start a journey you will never forget. Get addicted to reading.”


The Little Free Library initiative came together through a partnership with the Caribbean Homes and Exports, Mahogany Bay Resort, M& M Engineering, McNab Visual Strategies, and Special Envoy. The Minister of Education endorsed this community based initiative.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I can only appeal on the goodwill of Belizeans, firstly, not to destroy the little libraries and then to put books in, not only take books out. There are many, many Belizeans who are able to travel and visit wonderful bookstores and often after you are finished raising your children, those books are left in your homes, donate the books. Although there might be some affection – holding on to these treasures, imagine if it can make a better life for another child. So, we encourage  Belizeans to only take out books but to also put in books so that we can then be able to maintain it.”


The first of the nine little free libraries was installed on the laws of the St. John’s Cathedral. Two more will be set up around the City – and the other six will go to Punta Gorda, Belmopan, Dangriga, Orange Walk, Corozal, and San Ignacio. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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