Margo Johnson said her love for Revere’s Little Free Libraries (known as LFL’s) began in July, 2018 when she attended a meeting with Kathleen Heiser and Kristopher Grahame to discuss the new concept.
Johnson immediately reached out to Revere Open Space and Environmental Planner Elle Baker to review the project and through Baker’s diligence and her successful securing of a Revere Cultural Council grant, the LFL’s became a reality.
Today there are 15 Revere LFL’s – small, colorful birdhouse-like structures containing books – at local parks and other spaces such as the lawn at American Legion Hall.
“After I attended that first meeting, I just thought I love the concept and once I got it to Elle, she made it happen,” said Johnson.
Baker said that Johnson has been instrumental “in making sure that the Libraries have been maintained and fully stocked with books and reaching out to the stewards at these Little Libraries and keeping the project going.”
“There is no doubt that Margo has been a big part in the success of this particular project,” added Baker.
The Little Free Libraries were closed for a short time during the COVID-19 pandemic but they are now operating at full operations and ready for a busy summer.
“I just want to thank all the volunteers who contribute to this project in areas such as repairs,” said Johnson, also the owner of Doc’s Nuthouse Plus, a maker of delicious food items. “If it weren’t for them, I couldn’t do it.”
Margo Johnson’s initial involvement in reading projects began in Chelsea, where she worked for many years. She started organizing events through the Reach Out and Read Program and continued her community service in the Raising A Reader Program.
Fifteen years ago Johnson founded “Chelsea Reads Family Literacy Day” which is held annually at the Chelsea Public Library. The event has grown steadily to 1,000 participants, becoming one of the Chelsea’s largest youth educational events. Johnson presents a souvenir backpack filled with books to each participant.
“Hopefully I’m going to start a “Revere Reads” event which Elle thinks is a great idea,” said Johnson.
Both Johnson and Baker credit Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo for his tremendous support from the outset of the venture. Johnson said that Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino has also been very supportive of the LFL’s program.
Said Baker, “I really just want to say thank you to Margo for all of her hard work throughout the years. She’s been very motivated and inspirational to keep everyone on task of keeping these Little Libraries maintained and full of books for everyone to access.”