One of the great things about living in any area is the sense of community that the area provides. Without the feeling of community, we just exist alongside those who live near us. But with the feeling of community, we have the pleasure of living with those around us.
Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) wants to do more than provide life-saving help when needed, they want to be members of the community. To that end, they have started their Community Outreach program. The members of the Community Outreach program organize a variety of community events such as regular movie nights at the fire stations and the Gifts for Kids toy drive. All of these activities are done as a volunteer service by CCFR team members.
One of the new ways that they are engaging the community is through the little free library that they have set up at station #3 at 511 Willott Road in Saint Peters. The idea came to Captain Doug Raines when he saw that some friends of his had put one up in their neighborhood in O’Fallon. Captain Raines worked with the community outreach team and with the St. Charles City-County Library to make the idea become a reality. The little free library that they built matches the CCFR fire trucks with a red and white color scheme and diamond plating on the roof.
Little free libraries are small book repositories where anyone can come grab a book, drop off a book, take a book to keep or donate a book. This library was started thanks to the generosity of the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation and has doubled in size with books donated from the community with about 100 books total in the library.
The idea behind the libraries is to remove as many obstacles as possible to people accessing books. With no library cards required, no due dates, and no fees, little free libraries are a great way for anyone in the community to access books at times and locations that are convenient for them. When asked what the goal is for the little free library, Captain Raines said “Our biggest goal is an extension of our community outreach. We are always trying to be in the community and help benefit the community whether it be through programs we have set up to help families in need or through programs like the little free library.”
The little free library is unlocked and open 24 hours a day. The library is checked daily to ensure that there are enough books and that the library is presentable. Captain Raines noted, “We’re not trying to replace the library, but trying to supplement the library in getting books into the hands of those who want to read.” This partnership between CCFR and the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation brings together two organizations with the same goal, to increase the enjoyment we have of living in a wonderful community.