A ‘little library’ that already exists on Church Street across from Academy Field. It is not affiliated with the Engaged EG effort.

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Many people have lamented the lack of a librarian this year at East Greenwich High School, which has rendered the space little more than a meeting place. A new group in town, Engaged East Greenwich, wants to do something about it. They are recruiting 14 “Little Library” sites around town to both provide books for students and to call attention to the missing high school librarian.

Engaged EG formed this past fall. Here’s how they describe themselves on their Facebook page:  “We hope that … we can create a place where East Greenwich residents can get a succinct, non-biased view of the facts, free of drama and spin. Regardless of political affiliation or background, our goal is the same: to make our town the best it can be. Together that goal is achievable.”

As of Jan. 7, they have 336 members.

They are seeking 14 little libraries, one for every member of the School Committee (7) and Town Council (5), along with one each for the school superintendent and town manager.

“The decision to close the East Greenwich High School library can only be reversed by the Town Council, Town Manager, School Committee and Superintendent or more specifically some combination of those individuals,” said Kate Goldman, one of the four Engaged EG Facebook page moderators. “There are various ways that that could happen, but no one is taking action. The issue isn’t even on the agenda for their meetings. We are calling on each and every one of them to find a way to open that library. Someone needs to own this problem and fix it.” 

This isn’t the group’s first action. Engaged EG was responsible for green and red rectangle sheets of paper handed out at the Town Council meetings Nov. 14 and Nov. 20 when the council met to vote on the reappointment of Gayle Corrigan as town manager (the first meeting was cancelled because the venue was not large enough to hold all the people who wanted to attend). The sheets were handed out so attendees could show positive (green) or negative (red) reactions, in response to the council’s decision to not have public comment. (The council Nov. 20 ended up adding public comment to that meeting, but it came after their  3-2 vote to reappoint Corrigan.)
As for the 14 Little Libraries, so far Engaged EG has secured 4 sites – which means they still need 10 more.
“We are looking for home or business owners located near bus stops, walking routes or places where high school students meet, study, or hang out,” said Goldman. 
If you are interested or would like to learn more, check out the Engaged EG Facebook page. 
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