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Resident's diverse free library draws award

Sarah Kamya at one of her Little Free Libraries.Sarah Kamya at one of her Little Free Libraries.

The Little Free Library has chosen Arlington resident Sarah Kamya among six people to receive the nonprofit organization's 2021 Todd H. Bol Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The award, named for the group's late founder, who set up small, curbside libraries with books free for giving and taking, honors extraordinary individuals who embody its mission to build community, inspire readers and expand book access for all.

In a May 19 news release, Kamya said: “My Little Free Library has had an impact on me personally, because I have seen firsthand the power of books and how they can transform one's belief about themselves.

“As an African-American growing up in a predominantly white community, I did not grow up seeing myself represented on the pages of the books I was reading or the people around me. When I started my Little Free Library, I wanted little black and brown girls to be able to pick up a book and see someone who looked like them, who shared similar stories as them, who was able to overcome obstacles like them, and who could just be black and amazing.

'No dream too big ...'

“My Little Free Library reminded me that no dream is too big or too small,” she continued. “I believe my Little Free Library acts as a beacon of hope and promise to myself and future generations of BIPOC youth, that we do indeed matter.”

Kamya says she is on a mission to bring diverse books to her community and beyond. She started with one Little Free Library dedicated to sharing books that amplify and empower BIPOC voices. She now has eight more diverse libraries, with plans to expand further.

In addition, Sarah has shipped hundreds of diverse books to Little Free Libraries in all 50 states to spread the message that recognizing and celebrating our differences can bring us closer together.

Greig Metzger, the group's executive director, said in the release that Kamya's “volunteer efforts exemplify the vision of the late founder . the power of shared books. Through her effort, Sarah has made the world a better place to be.”

Bol created the first Little Free Library book-sharing box in 2009 in Hudson, Wis., and passed away unexpectedly in 2018. This is the third year the awards have been presented.

Read more about this year’s winners and see their photos at published a story about Kamya last June. Its writer is Trveor Hass is an Arlington High School graduate who once wrote sports stories for YourArlington.

Arlington began seeing these libraries pop in 2017. See the link to the story below.

July 1, 2017: Magnolia book nook turns page on town trend

This news announcement was published Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

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