Library Hampton public housing developments little free libraries-The Hampton Redevelopment Housing Authority has built and installed “little free libraries” in four of its public housing complexes across the city.
The little free libraries are, well, exactly what the name implies: small boxes filled with books that can be borrowed by simply picking one out. The concept asks that if you take a book, try to contribute one in return to keep the stacks full.
At the Asbury Place housing complex off La Salle Avenue, the library comes in the form of a wooden box with a clear front door marked “HRHA Free Little Library.” Inside, there are more than 60 books spanning all ages, from a “My First Words” board book to the best-selling novel “The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. The library sits in front of the Hampton Police station at the complex, next to the leasing office. Its bright green exterior and blue roof stand out against the buildings’ brick backgrounds.
The libraries are part of an ongoing effort by HRHA to better serve the needs of school-age children who live in its housing. The housing authority has partnered with Hampton City Schools to share data about the students they share.
“We felt it was important to meet those we service where they are,” said Michelle Barnes, family self-sufficiency coordinator for HRHA. “My Free Little Libraries was perfect, because not everyone has the means, (such as) the transportation or children who are in school who can get books. To meet them where they are, to promote literacy in the midst of our educational campaign with Hampton City Schools, was perfect.”
A grant funded $50 worth of books to set the libraries up when they were first installed almost two weeks ago, although the number of books available on shelves has started increasing as families have started participating, Barnes said.
The other libraries are at North Phoebus, Shell Garden and Langley Village, a senior citizens-only community. A fifth roving library will travel the city, and is set to make its first stop at Y.H. Thomas Community Center in a few weeks.
There are several dozen libraries officially registered with the Little Free Library, including one at Christopher Newport University, several at York County schools and one at Sandy Bottom Nature Park. To find the one closest to you, visit littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/.
Hampton University is celebrating two big milestones during the next school year: the university’s 150th birthday on April 1, 2018, and President William R. Harvey’s 40th anniversary as leader of the historically black university.
To kick off the celebration, the university is hosting multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson for an event on Oct. 20 at the HU Convocation Center. The event will also feature “special surprises throughout the evening” which will honor the legacies of the university and Harvey, a news release from the university stated.
“He was mesmerizing at the 50th Hampton Jazz Festival,” Harvey said in the release. “There’s no doubt he will rock the house launching our Anniversaries’ Kick-Off Celebration, the same way he left people buzzing in June.”
Tickets range from $40 for HU students to $150 for floor seats with VIP reception access. To purchase tickets, visit the HU Convocation Center box office or hamptonu.edu.
Hammond can be reached by phone at 757-247-4951 or on Twitter @byjanehammond.