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Teens in juvenile hall building little libraries for Sacramento communities

Rose Cabral takes care of the "Little Free Library" on 54th Street in the Colonial Heights neighborhood in Sacramento on Thursday, July 20, 2017.
Rose Cabral takes care of the "Little Free Library" on 54th Street in the Colonial Heights neighborhood in Sacramento on Thursday, July 20, 2017. rbenton@sacbee.com

Teens in Sacramento County juvenile hall are learning hands-on skills while encouraging literacy with a new project: building little libraries.

According to a press release from the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, the teens built the little libraries as part of the “YDF Gives Back” program.

The libraries – which are miniature free book exchanges placed outside homes, businesses and community centers – will be spread across the map in Sacramento.

The residents built the libraries with the help of the Northern California Construction Training program.

“I enjoy the NCCT program and giving back to the community. It allows me to use new tools and expand my knowledge. It feels good that the Little Libraries went to a good cause,” said Nathaniel, a YDF resident, in the press release.

The county is hosting a 4 p.m. Thursday ribbon-cutting for the library project at the Boys and Girls Club on G Street, where one such little library will be installed.

The charming fixtures, often shaped like houses, took off in Sacramento after 2012. Their free give-a-book, take-a-book model appeals to everyone, and works well for areas that don’t have a library nearby or access to affordable reading material, especially for children.

Two libraries have already been installed at the Black Child Legacy locations in Sacramento, according to the county.

More will be installed around Sacramento, including at the Boys and Girls Club of America location in South Sacramento, at the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and at several other locations around town.

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