Reading materials for people of all ages are now available at four St. Louis Metro Transit Centers as part of a new partnership that will put surplus library books in the hands of transit riders in North St. Louis County, Mo., who do not have the time, access, or transportation to get to the library.
The St. Louis Development Economic Development Partnership, St. Louis Promise Zone, St. Louis County Library, Bi-State Development, and Metro Transit were joined by special guests last week to launch the new community library box program for transit riders. The project is designed to encourage people to read, while also making their transit experience more enjoyable on MetroBus and MetroLink.
Promise Zone community library boxes can be found at four Metro transit centers. The boxes are stocked with novels, non-fiction, children’s books, and magazines that transit riders can borrow and read while they commute on MetroLink and MetroBus. Borrowing one of the books is easy. No library card is required, and there are no costs, no fines and no due dates to worry about. Borrowers are simply asked to return the reading materials to a community library box when they are finished, whether that is two days or two weeks later, so that other transit riders can enjoy reading them.
“We’re happy to partner with the St. Louis County Library system, Metro Transit, and Bi-State Development on this great initiative for the St. Louis region,” said Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. “This program has the potential to strengthen educational outcomes through increased literacy rates. It will provide our community with more access to books and have a positive impact on readership for all ages.”
The community library boxes are being supplied by materials from St. Louis County Library through its Recycled Reads program. Recycled Reads circulates surplus library materials at various locations throughout St. Louis County to make reading more convenient and accessible for those with busy schedules and limited time for recreational reading.
“The program will not only create a more enjoyable commute for Metro riders, but will help make reading a regular part of our daily lives,” said John Nations, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bi-State Development President. “With these new community library boxes, we are removing barriers and making it easier for everyone to add something very positive and very enjoyable to their commute to work, or after work, or in the comfort of their own home.”