News & Events

UMPI History Club establishes Little Free Library

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s History Club is helping to promote a love of learning, while sparking creativity and encouraging community building, with the establishment of a Little Free Library on the UMPI campus. The new book nook was installed on Friday, Nov. 22 in the Owl’s Nest, located on the first floor of the Campus Center. All are invited to use the Little Free Library.

“The concept is: Take a book, share a book, leave a book. This library belongs to everyone and anyone may use it—students, faculty, staff, friends, passersby—and the books are always free,” Evan Zarkadas, President of the UMPI History Club, said.

Zarkadas explained that the mission of the Little Free Library organization is to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

“I think it is very important to have this Little Free Library on campus because, as stewards of education and progress, we are the place where both the campus and also the surrounding communities gather to get inspired, learn, and spread their love for knowledge,” Zarkadas said. “My hope for the library is that it will allow access to books 24/7 for all UMPI students. I wish to share the love of books beyond the classroom and through this Little Free Library, which is an amazing initiative and non-profit all around the world.”

Zarkadas explained that he had the idea for the Little Free Library over the summer. After learning that Denise Trombley, who works in the Academic Affairs Office, was good with woodworking, he asked if she could help to turn his idea into a reality. She agreed and the History Club paid for all the expenses associated with establishing the library.

This Little Free Library is registered in the Little Free Library World Map of libraries. It serves as a conduit for sharing books with others, or people who participants may not encounter during their everyday lives. It also serves as a convenient resource for those who may not typically pick up a book, and gives them a chance to read a book they normally would not. Books of all grade levels and backgrounds are welcome inside.

According to the Little Free Library website, millions of books are exchanged each year through the Little Free Library, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. The Little Free Library allowed 73% of people to meet more of their neighbors. Approximately 92% of people say their neighborhood or community feels like a friendlier place because of a Little Free Library.

“I hope to inspire students to just open it once and hope that they will find a book that they will fall in love with. On the other side, for all the book lovers already out there, I hope that this will be a ‘hotspot’ where they can find new books to read, but also a place where they can share their books with our community,” Zarkadas said.

For more information about the Little Free Library at UMPI, contact Evan Zarkadas at evangelos.zarkadas@maine.edu. For more information about the Little Free Library effort, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/.