Little library comes to the Queens Botanical Garden
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Sep 11, 2019 | 437 views | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Andy Yung, a teacher at P.S. 244 in Flushing, spearheaded a project to bring a free Little Library to the Queens Botanical Garden.

Yung raised funds for the effort through DonorsChoose.org, a popular website that teachers use to get more supplies for their classrooms.

“The website helped me completely revamp my entire classroom, and when I did that, I wanted to work on our school and work on the community,” Yung said. “The idea behind the project is inspired by ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ and I wanted it to be a part of this beautiful community in Flushing.

“I want families and parents to come here and share books that they love, and take books that they can find new pleasures in,” he added.

And staff members at QBG were happy to donate a few books and encourage the community to come together through reading.

The little library can be found at the Pebble Yard by the Education Building. The peaceful spot is under a grand tree and near a bench.

QBG assistant director Rebecca Wolf said the library allows visitors to share books with one another and promote literacy.

Little libraries are all over the country,” Wolf said. “The idea is to take a book, share a book. We thought it would be lovely to put it by our bench in a nice and quiet section of the garden.”

During the winter, admission to the garden is free. During the warmer months, the garden is free on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings for two hours. Garden staff hopes the community takes advantage of the free admission to stop by and use the library.

QBG executive director Susan Lacerte’s daughter has been installing little libraries in her local area in Vermont.

Lacerte brought a number of books from her own collection, including children's books, a book focused on gardens, and a book on small museums around the country written by her husband, Archie Hobson, for the little library.

“Gardens are inspirations for the soul and books are stimulations for the mind, but the truth is that they both do both,” Lacerte said.

In addition to the little library at QBG, Yung raised enough funds for a little library for P.S. 244 in the school’s playground, giving the children a chance to take a break from recess and enjoy a bit of reading.

“Teachers love to collect things, and a bunch of teachers from our school brought their own books from their own classrooms and their homes to donate to our little libraries,” Yung said.

Councilman Peter Koo believes the little library will promote mental, spiritual and physical health for the community.

“We all want to encourage our kids to read more books instead of playing more games,” Koo said. “This is a wonderful concept and it’s good for the community. Maybe you’ll get ideas of your own after sitting under the tree and reading a book.”

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