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The Virginia Public Library Directors Association recently awarded Danville Public Library an “Outstanding Service Innovation” award for its Little Free Library Project, an initiative that has overseen the installation of free library units throughout Danville.
“The library is extremely excited to have received this award and we are especially proud of our Little Free Library project,” said Library Director Shelly Hypes.
The library installed its first Little Free Library in December along the Riverwalk Trail at the Worsham Street Bridge memorial. Since then, seven more units have been placed throughout the city, providing the citizens with access to free literature.
Each unit, resembling a birdhouse, maintains a small collection of books that are free to the public. Patrons have the option of trading books, taking a book or donating books. The purpose of the libraries is to promote literacy throughout the region.
Locations include Ballou Park, 767 Main St., Institute of Advanced Learning and Research, Dan Daniel Memorial Park, Coates Recreation Center, Doyle Thomas Park and Grove Park. A ninth unit soon will be installed at Danville Science Center.
The project was funded by a Danville Regional Foundation’s “Make it Happen Grant” program. Units have been adopted by various organizations, including Danville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Danville Historical Society, Institute of Advanced Learning and Research, PFLAG of Danville, Danville Parks and Recreation After School Kids, Epiphany Episcopal School, Danville Kiwanis Club and Danville Science Center.
"The library is grateful to the Danville Regional Foundation for the opportunity to provide this service,” Hypes said. “We are also thankful for the efforts of several community organizations that have adopted Little Free Libraries."
The recognition is the first Virginia Public Library Directors Association award Danville Public Library has received.