Newest Little Free Library opens at Arlington Fire Station No. 2

The library box that houses the books was painted by the Sam Houston High School Art Club

  • Arlington's newest Little Free Library, sponsored by Arlington Proud, opened Thursday at the Arlington Fire Department's Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)
    Arlington's newest Little Free Library, sponsored by Arlington Proud, opened Thursday at the Arlington Fire Department's Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)
  • Arlington's newest Little Free Library, sponsored by Arlington Proud, opened Thursday at the Arlington Fire Department's Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)
    Arlington's newest Little Free Library, sponsored by Arlington Proud, opened Thursday at the Arlington Fire Department's Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)
  • The Sam Houston High School Art Club painted the Little Free Library at Fire Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)
    The Sam Houston High School Art Club painted the Little Free Library at Fire Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)
Ken Costlow

While it has the appearance of a mailbox in front of the entrance to Fire Station No. 2 on Sherry Street, the newest Little Free Library should have the same significance to young readers in East Arlington that mailboxes have to postal customers.

The newest addition to the Little Free Library system, begun locally by Arlington Proud founder Mark Joeckel, took place Thursday, with invitees encouraged to bring gently used children’s books to donate to the library. It's the eighth Little Free Library in the city.

“We are honored to be a part of the communities that we serve,” Arlington Fire Department spokesman Lt. David Tyler said. “In an effort to support quality education in our community, we partnered with Arlington Proud and Sam Houston High School.”

The library box that houses the books was painted by the Sam Houston High School Art Club, with depictions of the Arlington Fire Department emblem and one of its fire trucks, along with the Sam Houston High School logo on three sides.

The Sam Houston High School Art Club painted the Little Free Library at Fire Station No. 2. (Photo: Ken Costlow / Arlington Voice)

“The students worked hard to collaborate on the project and did a great job working together to come up with ideas and implement those ideas to finish the project,” Sam Houston art instructor Kathryn Cassell said. “They are proud their work is going to be displayed and that it will support reading in our community.”

According to statistics from a National Assessment of Adult Literacy Survey, approximately one in five adults in Tarrant County cannot read well enough to succeed at a fourth grade level.

And a study by the United Way of Tarrant County indicates nearly half of adults in the study read at a Basic or Below Basic level. At most, they can perform simple and everyday literacy tasks.

“Low adult literacy impacts all areas of life,” Joeckel said. “It is a primary contributor to community problems, ranging from lost income and tax revenue, increased numbers on welfare, higher rates of unemployment and crime, rising healthcare costs and financial instability due to increased training costs for business and industry.”

By encouraging youngsters to read more and providing them access to books from the Little Free Library initiative, the opportunity will be afforded to raise the literacy rate among adults by following in the footsteps of their children.

Fire Station No. 2 is located at 1727 Sherry St. Lt. Tyler encourages all visitors to the Little Free Library there to park on the north side of the fire station in order to avoid blocking the apparatus bays and garage doors.