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Little Free Diverse Library to Return to Rochester

Sawyer Smook-Pollitt, Jan 30, 2024

ROCHESTER — Tri-Town Against Racism’s Little Free Diverse Library will soon find a new home in Rochester months after it was removed from the grounds of Plumb Library in September 2023. 

According to a project application approved by the Rochester Historic District Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 24, the Rochester Women’s Club will host the Little Free Diverse Library on its property at 37 Marion Rd. 

A Little Free Diverse Library is a stand-alone library where people can take or leave books that are specifically “diverse and anti-racist,” said Tri-Town Against Racism President Alison Noyce in June 2023, when the library was first installed in Rochester

Since June, the Little Free Diverse Library has been the subject of controversy stemming from  debate regarding a diversity flag on Plumb Library property the Little Free Diverse Library’s original location outside the official town library. 

The Rochester Board of Library Trustees voted unanimously to “return the Little Free Diverse Library to Tri-Town Against Racism.”

Explaining the decision, the Board of Library Trustees cited “confusion surrounding the ownership and control of the Little Free Diverse Library.”

“Pursuant with [Plumb Library gift policy], the library director is charged with administration of content but the Tri-Town Against Racism organization has asserted that ability,” said Board of Library Trustees Chair Kelley Medeiros. “Thus, we have a situation where there is confusion over the ownership and control of the Little Free Diverse Library.”

Now, said Noyce, the library will stand on land owned by the Rochester Women’s Club. 

“When the [Rochester] Women’s Club offered [its land] we said, ‘that’s a great spot and a great opportunity for us,’” said Noyce. “They actually own the building and the property, so hopefully we won’t have any issues like we’ve had before.”

According to the project application, the library will be located off the left front corner of the building, about two feet from the half-circle driveway. 

Noyce said that the Little Free Diverse Library at the Rochester Women’s Club is the same one that was previously at Plumb Library and  will be stocked with the same books.

Tri-Town Against Racism will hold an opening celebration for the Little Free Diverse Library sometime this spring, said Noyce.


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