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FARMINGTON – They’re like over-sized birdhouses, but filled with books. Two tiny new libraries sprouting in Farmington parks are part of a nationwide trend that attracts book lovers, and lets people share books they think others may enjoy.

Today the Farmington Police Department will dedicate one of two installations they’re opening this week during a ceremony in Jaycee Park at 6 p.m. at 1009 Cooper Street. 

They’re bringing along the mobile command center, their bomb robot and some books for Police Chief Steve Hebbe to read to the kids.

On Thursday at 6 p.m. the mobile command center, robot and storytelling time will appear at Mossman Gladden Park at 2115 Camina Placer.

“We’re going to put these up and see how things go,” said police spokesperson Georgette Allen. 

She said she hopes the boxes are well used.

The project was driven by one officer on the lookout for community engagement projects who said she discovered such tiny library projects are not only “an actual thing” but that there’s an organization dedicated to promoting literacy through them.

Officer Michele DeLese of the department’s District Coordinator Unit discovered the Little Free Library national non-profit organization, which has a Kids, Community & Cops program to “help law enforcement and civic groups create positive interactions with youth,” according to the organization’s website.

The department broke ground on the projects last week. 

The box at Jaycee Park was donated by a private citizen and, on Monday, already had some books in it. 

The official Little Free Library box was donated after DeLese applied for one of 100 boxes offered by the group.

The police department’s press release said its goals are to support literacy, attract new partnerships with community groups, show that the department is committed to serving neighborhoods, provide new opportunities to interact with the public, like book drives, and work to provide kids with a healthy alternative to getting into trouble.

“Activities such as book drives, story times, and other events give reasons for officers to interact directly with kids and their parents,” the police statement said. “In addition to generally promoting public trust, these interactions have led adults to pursue other programs with their local police.”

The Farmington Police Department hopes to expand this initiative in other neighborhoods throughout the city, the release said.

Little Free Library.org is registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has placed more than 70,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 85 countries, according to its website.

For more information about the Little Free Library organization, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.

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