Little Free Library started in 2009 and has since influenced more than 90,000 public book exchanges across the country. Photo by Okiave
By JACKIE GOLD
NEW SCOTLAND — Dr. Suess once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” This is a quote that Yasmin Salway, a local attorney, takes to heart.
Salway is from a small town within Guyana in South America. She has always been a supporter of reading and literacy, but when her son was born, she found that there were very few board books in her town for her baby. So Salway started a book business to help mothers find books for their children. She worked as an attorney during the day and ran the book store at night with her infant on her hip.
Years later, Salway moved to upstate New York. “When I moved here, I wanted to open a book store,” she said. However, the Great Recession hit in 2008 and that dream was never fulfilled.
This year, though, Salway saw a unique opportunity to continue her passion for books and literacy in her new community. Through the Onesquethaw Fire Company, based in New Scotland, Salway has been able to create “little libraries.” There will be small houses outside of the company’s three fire stations where community members can take books for all ages.
Salway says the mission of the little library is to “bring the community together, increase literacy, and build a relationship with the fire company.” The Onesquethaw Fire Company is a volunteer fire department that has been committed to the community since 1942. Salway has been working with the fire company for years and suggested they house the little library.
Tattered Pages of Glenmont, the used book store that recently closed, donated many books to Salway’s effort and Lowe’s of Glenmont contributed materials for the houses as well.
“This is a way for me to give back to the community,” Salway said. She hopes that the libraries will provide free access to books for people of all ages, backgrounds, and residencies. Salway says that this library is her way of continuing her passion that started all the way in Guyana and made it to New Scotland.
To contribute to Salway and the libraries, please call (786) 325-0825 for more information.
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