Small boxes, labelled “mini libraries,” were recently placed across the RAHS campus with the hopes that the “take one, leave one” rule will help spread books around the school.
Freshman Heidi Yagen, creator of the mini libraries, not only wanted to add some literature to the RAHS campus, but also wanted to bring a sense of community and joy.
“It only takes one person to take action and make a difference,” said Yagen, “and no one is stopping you from doing something great. Besides, surprises give people smiles and the community runs on smiles.”
With all the other activities that are offered at RAHS, there’s little time for students to get to a public library in order to support their reading habits.
“That’s the one thing that I wish Raisbeck [had] a library,” said Yagen. “Perfect for studying and just reading.”
When Yagen first discovered box libraries in her neighborhood, she found them to be an excellent way to spread books and cheer.
“The idea started a year ago when I was walking down Three Tree Point along the Puget Sound and I stumbled across two ‘little libraries,’” said Yagen. “They were so cute and adorable!”
In order to get her library project going, Yagen simply decorated a box, added books, and later hung up posters to advertise her creation.
“I actually didn’t ask any ‘officials’ like Mr. Kelly, I think that it was better to surprise everyone, than to give people a heads up,” said Yagen. “Besides, it wasn’t anything bad, so I figured it be nice to just ‘sneak attack’ the school with happiness.”
According to Yagen’s research, the little libraries are a great way to encourage the community to come together and share favorite books with each other.
“The average library receives 1,800 visits a year, but most cities have more than 1,800 families,” said Yagen, “however these little box libraries receive 3 million visits annually.”
While exploring DoSomething.org, an organization that helps people get involved in community service, Yagen found the “box o’ books” campaign and immediately signed up for it.
“[The ‘box o’ books’ campaign is] an anonymous and free ‘take one, leave one’ book drop,” said DoSomething.org, “to donate reading materials to those who may need it most.”
DoSomething.org recognizes the fact that many families do not have access to libraries or books in general, which hurts their children’s education. With little libraries showing up all over the place, students are able to discover more books, which could lead to more success in schools.
“Access to books and other reading materials,” said DoSomething.org, “greatly increases a student’s chance of success in school.”
Through DoSomething.org, Yagen has participated in many other activities that benefit the community.
“Before the box of books, I’ve participated in the ‘everyday superheroes’ campaign, from March 1 to March 20,” said Yagen. “I’ve made 901 cards and I’ve earned $25 for having the most ‘Wondrous Women.’”
Despite her enrollment at RAHS, Yagen even ventured to Highline High School to spread some cheer to the students there.
“I stuck sticky notes with positive compliments,” said Yagen, “like ‘You’re amazing’ on a majority of the lockers at that school.”
Yagen’s main goal with her community activities, especially the box library at RAHS, is to make people smile and feel joyful.
“So for those of you negative, book-haters,” said Yagen, “[sic] HA- IN YOUR FACES, I BE KILLING IT IN THE GAME! NOW GO READ SOME BOOKS ‘CAUSE I’VE GOT YOU BEAT!”