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Oct 4, 2017 10:27 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Girl Scouts Donate Little Free Library In East Quogue

Girl Scouts Ava Cuccia, Emily Milton, Julia Fritsch, and Lola Anderson visit the 'Little Free Library' at East Quogue Village Green on Saturday
Oct 4, 2017 10:27 AM

Emily Milton, Ava Cuccia, Lola Anderson and Julia Fritsch have been best friends and reading buddies since kindergarten. Their favorite books range from “The Martian” by Andy Weir to “any John Green book,” according to Emily.“I can’t choose just one book,” Lola added.

In 2008, these bookworms discovered that they shared another passion: Girl Scouts.

Bonded through friendship and a love of reading, the now seventh- and eighth-graders at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School in Riverhead began brainstorming ideas to earn their Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest honor that can be earned by cadettes, or those Girls Scouts who are in grades six through eight. The award offers cadettes the opportunity to do “big things and make [their] community better in the process,” according to girlscouts.org.

Emily, who lives in Riverhead, and Ava, Lola and Julia, who call Hampton Bays home, combined their love of the Girl Scouts and reading to create a Little Free Library that was installed last week on the East Quogue Village Green.

“They purchased a kit off of the website [littlefreelibrary.org] and assembled it on their own,” said Kim Milton, Emily’s mother and co-leader of the Girl Scout Troop 705 of Southampton.

“There’s no library in East Quogue,” Ava explained. “We wanted to do something that would promote reading in our community.”

“Having something that we can all do together is pretty cool,” Emily said.

The small library, which resembles a mailbox, was installed at the entrance to the Village Green on September 27 and is stocked with books of all kinds: fiction, non-fiction, picture books and even novels geared toward adults.

“Their mission is to put out a variety of different types of books,” Ms. Milton said.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera said town officials, who oversee the hamlet’s main park and honored the four young women at last week’s Town Board meeting for their effort, were “thrilled” to welcome the library.

“It’s to encourage reading and promote access,” Ms. Scalera said. “The [goal] is to be able to pick up a book and have a revolving access to everyone to be able to expand their opportunities to read.”

East Quogue’s Little Free Library, which operates on the honor system—meaning those who take a book are expected to leave another in its stead—is one of several such libraries scattered across the town. The idea is to “take a book, leave a book,” Ms. Milton said.

“The more books we can get out into the community, especially children’s books, it’s just better for everyone,” said Quogue Library Director Lana Theiling. Her library plans to donate books in the future to the initiative.

The town’s newest Little Library will be maintained by the East Quogue Beautification Committee and the four friends will help restock it on a rotating schedule. They added that the Hampton Bays Public Library, which recently added its own Little Free Library, has also donated books and will continue to do so.

“We’re really excited about it,” Ms. Scalera said. “It’s a great thing.”

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Hamptons Bays should put about 10 of these around town, close the Library, sell the building, and get rid of all the trustees!
By HamptonDad (109), Hampton Bays on Oct 6, 17 11:56 AM
I can't decide if you're serious, but just in case you should visit the HB library and see all it has to offer for yourself. You'll probably find they couldn't be easily replaced by a mailbox with a dozen books inside.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (136), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 6, 17 12:02 PM
Nice job girls! Way to go!!!
By bird (616), Sag Harbor on Oct 6, 17 3:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Great job girls. Thanks for giving back to our community!
By crusader (365), East Quogue on Oct 8, 17 11:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
I am so proud of these girls. They have done a great service to the community. They have been friends since kindergarten and hopefully for life. I know they will continue to be good citizens and leaders. Way to go girls. Keep up the good work and thank you for being a good example to other young girls. The world needs more girls like you.
By Bunny Hayes (1), Brookhaven on Oct 14, 17 10:01 PM
1 member liked this comment