Connecting through reading

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Covenant Village of Golden Valley residents Emery Erickson and Dick Davideit built the library.
Covenant Village of Golden Valley residents Emery Erickson and Dick Davideit built the library.

Covenant Village of Golden Valley, a faith-based, not-for-profit continuing care retirement / life plan community in Golden Valley, MN, recently dedicated a Little Free Library on the community's lawn with approximately 75 residents and staff members and even the mayor and a village council member in attendance.

Neighborhood residents now can take a book or leave a book. The library will be available all year.

Resident Emery Erickson initiated the project after seeing similar gathering places in nearby neighborhoods. He located design plans, and he and fellow resident Dick Davideit built the library over several weeks in the community's professional-grade workshop, home to more than 30 professional and novice woodworkers who build, tinker and do repair work for residents.

“When we decided to build the library, we thought, ‘Let's do this for the neighborhood,' ” Erickson said. “ ‘Let's give our senior community a way to connect with our young neighbors and inspire a love for reading,' ” Erickson said.

“Dick and Emery built this library to reach into the community and across the generations,” said Robyn Baumgarten, resident life director at Covenant Village of Golden Valley. “Through their efforts, we now have a gathering place for the entire community to enjoy. And we're inspiring readers of all ages.”

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world. According to the organization, Minnesota has more than 1,000 registered Little Free Libraries, and globally, more than 40,000 exist.

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