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Phoenix Barbershop Launches Little Free Library

young client at Roy's Barbershop
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
A young client at Roy's Barbershop received a free book at the launch of the Little Free Library.

A Phoenix barbershop becomes the first business to launch a Little Free Library through a partnership with the city and Habitat for Humanity.

The sound of buzzing clippers and snipping scissors couldn’t drown out the sounds of schoolchildren crowded into the waiting area of Roy’s Barbershop near 19th Avenue and Osborn Road. They were invited to participate in the launch of the Little Free Library through Read on Phoenix and My Brother’s Keeper.

Near the reception desk, next to the wall is a three-story wooden house holding dozens of books. That’s where 8-year-old Marissa spotted “Peppy the Puppy” and quickly tucked it under her arm.

“It’s for my little sister,” she said. “Because she likes reading.” 

Little Free Libraries operate on the “take a book, leave a book” principle. The goal is to promote literacy which shop owner Oralia Hernandez fully supports.

“I like the idea to make the kids ... read because right now all the kids just playing with the Nintendos, the iPads, the cellphones,” she said.

Nationally, the Little Free Libraries movement started in Wisconsin in 2009. Today, the nonprofit boasts 50,000 libraries worldwide, including neighborhoods across the Valley

Habitat for Humanity supplied the Little Free Library inside Roy’s Barbershop. Through its collaboration with the city, the group plans to add more libraries in gathering places like barbershops, coffee shops, parks and community gardens.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.