Neighborhood rallies around reading after ‘Little Free Library’ theft

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Neighbors can’t stand that thieves stole something very special from them. It was a “Little Free Library” for everyone to use. Now the neighborhood has banded together to keep the dream of their library alive.

The story begins with a love of reading instilled in Becca Rollins by her late father.

“He was someone who made me really interested in reading,” Rollins said.

Her husband, Ben Davis, had the perfect gift idea to place outside their home near Altura Park in northeast Albuquerque.

Davis bought a “Little Free Library.” The little boxes are filled with books and part of a worldwide movement. The idea is “take a book, leave a book.” The idea is not to take the whole depository.

“When they took it, it really upset her,” Davis said about the June theft from their yard. “There’s no reason for them to take it. It was an act of vandalism. It was really silly and stupid.”

Rollins added, “But it’s only made people more interested in the library.”

The neighborhood rallied around reading. So Davis built a second little library for people to enjoy.

Cody Coffee, 15, rolled up on his bicycle and found a book.

“I really think that’s a great idea. It gets people to the library without being at the library,” he said.

When asked if he had any suggested reading for the characters behind the mystery mischief, he said, “For the people who stole the first one, I’d suggest they read Common Sense because they need some.”

Davis said, “Vandalism ordinances in Albuquerque. That’s where they should probably start reading.”

This second depository is special to Rollins. “This one is going to be dedicated to my dad who passed of cancer,” she said.

As one neighbor put the morale of the story, “Bad guys never win in the end,” said William Bendaw.

The family said if the depository is stolen again, they’ll keep on replacing it.

The official non-profit behind this movement said as of January, there were more than 25,000 registered “Little Free Libraries” in all 50 states and in 70 countries.  Read more about it here»

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