Members of the campus community can grab a bite for lunch and a book to go, thanks to the Little Library offered by Central University Libraries (CUL).
Twice a month, the SMU edition of the global Little Free Library phenomenon provides a wide variety of reading material, from best-selling paperbacks to serious literature, free for the taking.
“We started our version last spring to create buzz about libraries and books,” explains Tyeson Seale, CUL outreach coordinator and co-chair of the campus engagement committee, which initiated the program.
The Little Library is in operation during the first full week of each month, on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. To take advantage of peak foot traffic, Seale positions the Little Library book cart near the visiting food trucks parked in front of the flagpole on Bishop Boulevard.
“It’s easy to spot the book cart because it’s decorated with two throwback posters from the 1980s American Library Association’s READ campaign,” Seale says. “People seem to get a kick out of those posters. They remember the campaign from when they were in elementary, middle or high school.”
Students often pose for selfies with the images of Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage, which pop up on Instagram and Twitter during Little Library days.
Approximately 70 to 80 SMU students, faculty and staff visit each month, with numbers rising as word spreads. “It would be nice to see the CUL Little Library grow and maybe have a permanent structure one day,” says Seale. “But for now, you can find me and the book cart next to the food trucks twice a month.”