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Hey Campbell County, Get Ready for More Little Libraries!

Getting a free book soon could be as easy as going to your front yard, or to your neighbor's yard.

You can get a sneak preview at the BIG Kickoff for Little Libraries at 6 p.m. Friday, April 17, at the Newport Branch of the Campbell County Public Library.

A Little Library is a decorated box that provides shelter for a selection of free books. People are encouraged to take a book and leave a book for others to read. In early March, the Library built 40 boxes that were made available for $10. People who purchased the boxes were asked to decorate them and bring their decorated boxes to the April 17 Kickoff Party.

Owners of the best Little Libraries will be awarded first and second-place prizes of $50 and $25 gift cards. Campbell County Judge-Executive Steve Pendery will lead the panel of judges, who are representatives from the participating cities. The Kickoff Party will also have music and light refreshments.

Several people in the community have come together to make Little Libraries in Northern Kentucky a reality. Danielle Heiert, an avid reader and high school sophomore is also a Girl Scout who chose Little Libraries as her Gold Award project. The Gold Award is the Girl Scout equivalent of the Boy Scout's Eagle Award.

Ryan Salzman, a member of the Bellevue city council and faculty at Northern Kentucky University, was instrumental in getting Bellevue on board with the concept, working with other communities and helping build the boxes. Home Depot donated $100 toward the cost of building materials and a discount on materials purchased at the Highland Heights location.

"We want to promote the love of reading, so supporting Little Libraries is a natural fit for us," said J.C. Morgan, director of the Campbell County Public Library.

Currently, Little Libraries are welcome in Bellevue, Dayton, Fort Thomas, Newport, and Southgate. Anyone outside of those communities who is interested in having a Little Library should contact their city, town, or county council to participate.

"We see a lot of benefits to this program," Morgan said. "It is a great way to promote literacy in the county and enhance communities through interaction among neighbors and book discussions."

While it's too late to purchase a Library-provided Little Library or enter the April 17contest, the Library offers a how-to guide for a Little Library. Go online to use the Library's Little Library Design Plan here. To get a starter set or replenish books by, stop by the Campbell County Public Library and request a Little Library Book Bag containing free books donated by the Friends of the Campbell County Public Library.

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Maria Bozeman, of Fort Thomas, and her children Carden and Adelise, pick up their Little Library box.