By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Athletes at St. Joseph’s University are putting down their oars and golf clubs on this Martin Luther King Day, and picking up hammers and screwdrivers to help build little libraries.
Members of the St. Joe’s golf and rowing teams are spending the day at the Huey School in West Philadelphia, building ten wooden structures that look like oversized birdhouses.
They’re actually Little Free Libraries, says Morgan Rogers Burns with the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children:
“Little Free Libraries are an international movement to make books available within the community and have book exchanges where people take a book and leave a book.”
Connor Hill, a junior on the golf team, says Dr. King would approve:
“People helping others at all times is exactly what he stood for. And I’m just glad that we can get out and do our part.”
Rowing coach Mike Irwin says in addition to giving back to the community, the athletes are building camaraderie:
“I mean, it is teamwork, ultimately. Especially in a project like we have today, we’re putting together some small libraries and getting the athletes to interact in ways that they don’t get to do in practice. That’s the key for us.”
WePAC – a nonprofit that works to reopen school libraries – will decide just where the ten Little Free Libraries will be located.