South Pasadena Girl Scouts Sadie Metcalfe and Jillian Goldstein held the grand opening of a “Little Free Library” at Garfield Park during a Sunday ceremony attended by friends, family and city officials. The installation was the culmination of their Silver Award, a project designed to work with the community to create positive change.
“We thought that donating a Little Free Library to the city and putting it in Garfield Park was a great idea,” said Metcalfe, 13. “We knew lots of people would enjoy the Little Free Library and all the books inside.”
During Sunday’s grand opening celebration, the girls used giant scissors to cut an orange ribbon and thanked the community, city officials and their girl scout leader, Susanne Nava. Both girls are part of Troop 5391 and are in 8th grade at South Pasadena Middle School. People brought books Sunday to donate to the library.
“The little free library gives people a chance to get free books,” Goldstein said. “It was really fun doing it. It was a good experience.”
Mayor Richard Schneider, city councilmembers Michael Cacciotti and Robert Joe and community services director Sheila Pautsch attended the event.
“They took the initiative in picking their project and they knew where they wanted it,” Pautsch said at the gathering. “They were very professional. I didn’t really have to do anything.”
Sadie and Jillian first met with Pautsch in the fall to propose the idea. They then raised the $400 to buy the materials by holding a bake sale and a garage sale. Once they had the money, they ordered the unfinished library, finished the construction and painted it yellow.
There are tens of thousands of Little Free Libraries across the world, and several in South Pasadena and the surrounding towns.
The motto of the nonprofit company is “Take a book, Return a book”. The libraries are designed to inspire a love of reading and to encourage community by allowing people to donate, exchange and borrow books.
Garfield Park is one of the city’s most popular outdoor gathering spots. With its grassy lawns, playground, tennis courts and picnic areas, the park is popular with people of all ages. The new library is located in the rose garden at the entrance to the park on Mission Street.
“It’s pretty popular so far,” Metcalfe said. “We stopped by a few times to replace books, and some days it was already full. But we still need people to leave books, too.”