Fully booked: Little Free Diverse Library returns to Ned’s Point
MATTAPOISETT – The Little Free Diverse Library at Ned’s Point has returned following last year’s destruction. At the re-opening celebration on Thursday, May 12, Alison Noyce of Tri-Town Against Racism was reminded of when they first opened the library in September of 2021.
“It was a beautiful day and we gathered just like this,” she said. “We were so full of hope.”
The Little Free Diverse Library is similar to most little free libraries, a popular concept featuring a small box filled with books to be used as small-scale, local book exchange. However, this library only features books that promote diversity.
The Little Free Library that Tri Town Against celebrated in September was destroyed three months later.
“It wasn’t an accident and every book in it was ruined,” she said. “It was really devastating news that somebody would feel so strongly that this shouldn’t be here.”
Noyce said that she was heartened by the way the community responded to the news. She explained how residents started donating books to replenish the box and other anti-racist groups along the South Coast sent books from their libraries.
Craig Collyer, who built the original library, reached out to rebuild it, reinforce it, and “make it better than it was to start.”
They also added a security camera that sits inside the box, labeled, “Unfortunately, due to vandalism, cameras in use.”
Then, on May 12, 2022, Tri Town Against Racism hosted the re-opening ceremony for the second Little Free Diverse Library. Tri-Town residents, members of Tri-Town Against Racism, Mattapoisett’s Town Administrator Mike Lorenco, and Collyer were all present.
There was a table laid out with refreshments and many more donated books that could not immediately fit in the library.
“My son just finished reading these,” said Rhonda Baptiste, a member of Tri-Town Against Racism, as she pointed to a collection of graphic novels by Jerry Craft. “So he donated them for someone else to read.”
“One silver lining that came out of the vandalism was the fact that maybe people realized that this takes a whole community to support this,” Noyce said.
She explained that parents have come to her to tell her how meaningful it is to them and they love coming to the library to get children's books for their kids and books for themselves.
“What happened is not okay,” she said. “But we’re not going to let it stop us from doing what we do.”